Littles loves princesses. She loves to dress like them, pretend she is one getting married, and read about them. Her book shelf houses a variety of stories about princesses, with her favorite being a four-story anthology of Disney princess weddings. We’ve read them a hundred times each. The plot is always the same: meet your prince, plan your dream wedding, live happily ever after.
My dearest Bigs,
As we snuggled at bedtime, your small hand searched under the covers for my hand. When you finally found it, you pulled my arm over you to wrap yourself in a cocoon of my limbs. With a deep breath and what felt like a burrowing into your mattress to get comfortable, you lay there perfectly still holding my hand. My heart stopped. My mind stopped. Time stopped. I was swallowed up in the moment of perfect peace and you began softly snoring. This is home, my sweet boy. Being surrounded in love is home.
We crossed the street hand in hand as Bigs ran up ahead of us to meet the neighborhood kids at the bus stop for the first day of school. Littles tugged my arm.
“Momma, do you think Bigsy will give me a hug? I’m really going to miss him.”
“You better ask him.”
It was only six years ago that I would come home from work and curl up to watch TV or read and daydream of what the baby growing in my belly would be. I knew he would be perfect in every way and somehow that translated to an idyllic motherhood for myself. I knew he wouldn’t ever wear light up shoes and would always use his manners. Dreams.
You became a father in the middle of the night. After spending the better part of 24 hours by my side you encouraged me to press on. At the moment I wanted to throw in the towel and tell the doctor that I was done laboring and to do a C-section, tears trickled out of your eyes. You saw what I could not… that the end and beginning were so close. Through your emotion you told me, “He’s coming. He’s almost here.” I literally pushed through my exhaustion to deliver our son to the world and you were my fuel. I couldn’t have done it without you.