I forgot to tell you, I guess it slipped my mind, how my world tipped on its axis and I blinked and looked around with my breath caught and my eyes blurred and my heart opened wide the day I found out you were on your way.
Did you know I used to carry around the blurry back and white ultrasound photo in my wallet so I could take it out and trace my finger over the hills and valleys of your profile, the chord that connected our bodies. I was yours and you were mine.
Have I mentioned that I pushed and pushed and thought that I would never make it, that I wasn’t strong enough. But then I knew that I had to meet you, and for that I would push for three hours more. Six. Nine. I would have done anything.
Did we ever tell you how much we laughed and cried. How everyone loved you from the moment we saw you, from your shock of dark hair to your blue eyes to your long fingers and your big feet.
Maybe I never told you, but the first night I held you in my arms as you slept and Daddy slept and the whole world outside was dark and quiet and sleeping, that my heart beat with the flutter of your eyes and I knew that I would do anything for you, be anything for you. That it didn’t even take a day for you to become my moon and stars. My sun. My son.
We used to go for long walks, just me and you. Do you remember? Then I’d rock you to sleep and sing James Taylor and we’d curl up together and dream. Remember how you loved to swing, how I’d nuzzle your belly and kiss your fat cheeks, how you’d laugh at the cat whenever he walked by? Did you know that your laugh was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard?
You walked early and talked early, even if the things you said were kind of funny. We thought you were brilliant and unique and everything you did made us happy. Even the hard days. Even the days when we couldn’t understand each other. Even the days when you were sad and I didn’t know how to help you be happy. Could you tell? Do you remember?
You started to read and write and learn things no one had ever taught you and we knew you were something special. We thought you were remarkable. And when they told us you had autism, we knew that was still true. Did you know that it still is even now? Have I told you?
Do you know that you’ve taught me so many things? The true meaning of kindness, of honesty, the value of being genuine and open and true. You are one the best people I have ever known. I am so proud of you. Do you know? Have I told you?
Did you know? You made me a mother. You made us a family. There is nothing you can ever do, nothing you can ever say, nothing you can ever be that will make me stop loving you.
I’m sorry if I forgot to tell you. Maybe you didn’t know that I’m just a person, and I forget things sometimes. I get too busy. I get stressed out. I hope you know that I’m trying my best. I hope you know that I love you very much.
And if you knew all of that already, well. That’s okay. I’m happy to tell you again.
Jill Vettel is a writer and stay at home mom of three in Durham, NC