To my beautiful son. My best boy.
I'm not sure where I put it but I know there exist a few paragraphs in a letter I started writing you when you had yet to be born. You were growing in my belly, I was playing you Stevie Wonder via headphone in the navel and things were rosy until they weren't anymore. I stopped writing when They started frightening me. I couldn't do anything else but read up. Get ready. Stand tall. Worry.
I should've kept writing then, but I guess all of that came out afterwards eventually, and still is. And that's a good thing. It's a good thing because somewhere on this big blue ball hurtling through the universe there is another woman going through the very same. As I type, she types. "What is an echogenic focus" into Google. "Nuchal translucency measurements" into Google. And she reads up and looks for stories like ours. Real stories. True to life stories. Not the ones in the science books filled with old stats. Stats used back when it was the norm to lock people away from society just for being different. No, not that outdated book-learned theory, but actual Fact. She may find a few stories out there.
I hope she finds this.
I stopped writing that letter to you, but I'm going to tell you now what I was going to say then. For four years now I've been telling you to your face, mid-cuddle, at the dinner table, in the car, on the carousel at the theme park, oh I've been telling you. But there's so much more that I haven't said.
You were and still are my heart. You were growing beneath my heart but there you consumed it completely and it beat for you, with you, because of you. It always will. I did not know your face then but I loved it still. I couldn't wait to see it. To inspect your fingers and toes, to listen to you breathe while you sleep. To watch you dream as I was dreaming for you. To watch you imagine the angels watching over you. I saw that all, in my mind's eye. I saw every bit.
I imagined you taking a book up and climbing on to the sofa to sit beside me. But as it happens, you take that book, you climb up and you get into my lap. And we read not side by side, but over your shoulder. And that, my son, is where I will always be, whether on this earth, in this life, or wherever it is that we go when it ends. I will be over your shoulder and inside your heart as you are inside mine.
I pictured you walking and jumping and running and laughing. For the most part I have indeed seen all these things. You laugh with wild abandon, that sound that could un Grinch that big green dude up in the frosty mountains, that smile that would melt those snowbanks into a misty river. You are light. You are a star. You are made up of elements like we all are and you are to be gazed upon and adored and wished on as any unearthly thing we spot out in the galaxy, out beyond those wildest of dreams. You are. You just are.
I'm not sure what those dire predictions made me expect but I have to tell you, dear precious boy, that you are all I expected before anyone said a word. You just are.
(And can. And will.)
My dreams for who you are and who we will be together and as a family with your Daddy, well, those are coming together too. Because there really is nothing that different about you as a son, as a child, as a person who I wanted to have in my life, that is anything other than what I wanted. You are all I could have imagined, all I didn't imagine and every last bit in between.
You are. You will be.
As it was then in terms of today, there is nothing I can see beyond the here and now other than that which I can imagine for you. But I see you. Who you are. Who you want to be.
I see your friends embrace your difference, not feel shame because of it, but celebrate you.
I see your teachers tell me that you - a boy who does not yet speak - have a great sense of humor. I mused over this for a while because who knew it was possible? No. No - you don't actually need an audible voice to display humor, you just need a light. And my boy, you are light. You shine every minute. The naysayers have not dulled you. They haven't the ingenuity nor the power.
And you, who would have been set aside...you wouldn't feel any grudge. You'd brush it off, like you'd brush off a kid taking a ball off you, like someone bumping you out of the way on the slide because you're moving a bit slower than they are. You take life at your pace. You take life in stride. You walk. You dance.
And I could not love you more.
With everything that I am, and will always be - all my love forever.