“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” ~ Helen Keller
There is a wet film pooling in my eyes, I am not crying, and the tears will not form to flow over, but I can feel the emotion as it wells up from somewhere deep inside. This moment is a happy one. It’s not sad in any way, but it is major in its own way, and when I write it down it may seem or sound trivial, but for me, on this day, it is not trivial.
The door of happiness is not closed, but in the way that only change can bring, we no longer walk sideways half holding on to one place while slowly making our way toward another doorway filled with new happiness and new adventure.
Today, Q got his first haircut. For the number of pictures we took you may have thought it was his wedding day. But alas, he is my baby boy. And while sometimes, and here after a haircut will probably just be a haircut, today it was much bigger than any of us could have anticipated.
As M started the first snip, she asked an innocent yet loaded question. “Did he have a lot of hair when he was born?” And there it was, the key to my memories. I faltered as I answered, and came up with something simple, “he was normal.” But as I answered, my heart slipped away. Somewhere very far from ‘normal’ he entered the world as my baby boy….
My baby boy who, when he was born, had a layer of hair that thickly covered his body to protect him from his inability to control his own temperature because he was so small and so early.
He is my baby boy who, when he was born the doctors silently took him away without telling me what he was because they were fixated on saving his life.
He is my baby boy who, in his first week of life, I watched as the doctors delicately sliced into his neck near his jugular vein to insert an IV down by his heart because his veins were so tiny they could not hold the tubing that would deliver his life-preserving medications.
He is my baby boy who, in his second week of life came down with an infection that we did not know if he would recover, but the day before was dressed as a precious frog for his first Halloween.
He is my baby boy who, one day when I walked into the hospital after 6 weeks as I routinely did everyday, 5 doctors and nurses were huddled around his bassinet as they tried to save him from choking, and all I could do was watch and pray.
He is my baby boy who, for 2 months I could hold next to my skin, down my shirt so he could feel my heartbeat which would mimic being in the womb. His tiny body would mold to mine and my temperature would regulate his while my breathing would fall quietly between his breaths.
He is my baby boy who, from the first moment he was held next to his sister after 5 weeks in the NICU, reached over to protectively place his hand on her as if to say, I am here, I will not leave you.
He is my baby boy that grounded me in the overwhelming despair, guilt and fear that I felt surrounding our experience, and he is he one that anchored me as I fought what has been my greatest battle with depression and despair.
He is my baby boy who, has grown before my eyes. His bright smile and precious giggle make my life sparkle and shine.
He is my baby boy who taught me to see E just as she is, and that she is ok just as she is. That before she could really interact with us, he saw what she was and no matter what we would all love her just as she was.
He is my baby boy who now walks, and talks and grabs my face to say Mama. He laughs quickly, and loves to read, and go for walks, and watch and help as his dada plays the guitar.
He is my baby boy who will start school with his sister in April and I will send them off into the big world. He will be a peer model in a class of special needs children at an early intervention program and my heart will swell with pride as he helps E along in their new adventure.
He is my baby boy who, today, for the first time ever got his haircut so that it is clear to me and the whole world that he is growing up and while he will always be my baby, he is no longer my baby boy.
A new door to happiness opened today. I suppose it’s been open for awhile, but in many ways I was choosing not to walk through for fear of leaving the other happiness behind. But in truth this new happiness is good for him, for us and for me as it allows me almost close the door I was holding on to in some ways. I will never allow that door to fully close for it grounds me in gratitude and appreciation for all that we have and fills me with perspective. But like Q and his hair, it is time put those sweet blonde curls in a little envelope and tuck them away for occasional walks down memory lane.
And for now, we have new memories to make and new adventures to take on which will continue to make each day ‘anewfavoriteday.’
Have there been moments in your life where you recognize a real change has happened?
Linking up with the Fab #Yeahwrite46 this week!
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