Lyda here. Today I rearranged my room a bit. I’ve been living since January with boxes in the room, and my fabric in the closet. I switched it so that now it’s the fabric in the room, and the boxes in the closet. Same stuff, different feel. I’d much rather look at piles of fabric than boxes. And I was surprised at just how much I fit into the closet. Including some of the fabric.
While I was rearranging, I opened the plastic bin containing memoribilia of my son’s childhood. I glanced through his baby book. I came across report cards and drawings, special bibs and his first stuffed animal (a soft yellow lamb – starting the fiber indoctrination early).
And I found the journal that I kept for him, and tumbled into the past.
I started this journal when we decided to have children. I wanted my children to know what I was thinking and feeling as an expectant and new mother, and what those early years were like. My own mother had died, and I missed her so much. I knew I would miss having her to advise me through my own motherhood, and to tell my about her experiences.
The journal begins years before our son was born. I wrote about how much I wanted children, and how excited I when I found out I was pregnant. I wrote about calling my father that day, the last time I spoke to him before he died. I wrote about my grief when that first pregnancy ended. I wrote about being afraid to try again, and yet trying again, and how I felt when that second pregancy, then a third pregnancy, and then a fourth, ended in miscarriage also. Those pages are full of raw pain and sorrow.
I wrote about hope and fear equally during my fifth pregnancy. About my boredom with bedrest, and my worry about money, and my deep concern about my husband carrying the burden of caring for me and for his aging parents and aunt at the same time. I wrote about the fear when labor started too soon, the discomfort of being confined in a hospital bed, the three days and two sleepless nights spent worrying and crying alone and obsessively watching the monitor showing my baby’s heartbeat.
And I wrote about the joy of holding my son in my arms for the first time. Of my awe of his perfection, and my fear that I would not measure up.
I wrote to my infant son about his life, telling him about his first step, his first word, his first joke. I wrote about my decision to leave his father, and what it cost to leave, and what I thought it would cost to stay. I wrote about little things and big things, whatever was on my mind and in my heart.
Today I wrote a few new pages, to my son at age nineteen.
And then I packed it away with the bunny that was once fluffy and the report cards and the ticket from his first trip to Disneyland.
All waiting for the next time. And next time I will laugh, and cry again. And then I will write more in the journal. There is one thing I’m sure I’ll write then, as I wrote today and in every entry:
I love you. Thank you for being my son.