time & eternity

kettle

When we were still in the hospital, all cord stump and colostrum, the geneticist told us that he can think of no reason why our boy should not live to be an old man. A day or two before that, though, nobody expected him to survive his own birth, so I wasn’t exactly imaging a future. I was still reeling from the surprise of everything. But it’s been two months now. And even though we have major hurdles ahead of us, I’m doing what mothers do: I’m loving this baby so fully and have opened up myself to him so completely, it’s unfathomable that he should NOT always be here.

Assuming the internet, and all of its Too Much Information oversharing and showboating, continues on and on, I’ve started wondering what this boy of mine will think of me telling his story. If he can google himself when he’s older, I hope he’ll see how carefully I tried to balance sensitivity and truth. I hope he will understand how helpful it is for me to write, how much people who care want to read. I worry, of course, that these words will be found by those who don’t care, who don’t know, or who burned bridges and don’t deserve to know.

Maybe it’s counter-intuitive, the urge to blog about my baby, when my instinct to keep him safe is stronger even still. I think I just want as many people on our team as possible. I hope that should anything hurtful or wrong occur, I’d have not just my little household and our dailylife friends to help, but some contingent of the world wide web, as well. I blog because I want my boy to be known. Not for what you might see of him if you passed us walking by, but for who he IS. Not for his birth defects, but for his SELF, for his place as the little brother in such a close, close little family, for his hiccups and squinchy grins and tiny yellow union suit that both his big sister and big brother before him wore, too. We are still sort of talking, thinking, dreaming heart surgeries and limb differences  -we have had a whole new language to learn in such a short time- but that isn’t who we are. We are board games after dinner, we are bookshelves stuffed to overfilling, we are pockets full of rocks and acorns, we are butternut squash muffins and backyard hens, we are steaming kettles and hot drinks and twenty-five pound bags of bulk lentils, we are music turned up too loud and dancing in the kitchen, we are rainy walks and bedtime snacks and so much funny, I don’t know where all the laughter comes from. We are a fortunate family, just for having of each other, and what I want you to know about sweet Ulysses is that he is part of us first, before anything else you might think about him.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “time & eternity

  1. yes! april! your precious wonderful third born brought into the fold. i think he will look back and read his mothers words and see love written all over. great big bucket full of love of a connected family of four poured out as they wrapped their arms around their newest addition, taught the ways of the W. crew, lucky #5 player of after dinner board games. (i am so thankful you write, that you share. make sure my name is right up near the top of that team list of yours, okay!) x

  2. April, the part about those who have burned bridges and don’t deserve to know, to me this is profound. But then, if you think about it-you sharing his story is important for you and for him and maybe important to a stranger who might find this blog because they too are facing something so challenging that they are overwhelmed. This journey you are on is not one traveled by many and you are enduring and existing with grace and courage and that is so important. You are a gifted writer and a great mama. I think maybe one day you should write a book. In the meantime, I think it’s awesome that you are able to stay grounded and are focused on remaining in the present and not losing who you are. xo. susie

    • thanks, susannah! i’m all about connecting with strangers, as i’ve been already seeking out families with similar experiences. and the burning bridges part, well, i really have much much more about that in my brain and i will probably write more about it soon.

  3. your family is the family that i wish lived down the street from me. but here on the other side of the country, and i am so very much on that sweet little boy’s team. i am so grateful that you are writing about your life with him. i am sure that one day he will be grateful for this too. xoxo

  4. Amen.

    I know one reason I blog about Lamp is so that she is known and loved already. It’s a small army, our blog readers, but they cheer her on and adore both my girls. Obviously I can’t control the people who read my blog who are in the “other” category…but that’s no different than the rest of life.

    He’s one lucky kid (as are all our children right?) and he’ll definitely know it.

  5. Omy

    April, this post made me cry, for among other reasons, the sheer love that you show for all of your kids. You are one powerful and strong mama and your three little ones are so lucky to have you as their parent.

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