Valentine’s Day 2004 I sent my husband off to war. Five-months pregnant, crying kids in tow, I waddled my way to my seemingly empty car, trying to pick up the rattled pieces of my heart the Army just put on a plane, still feeling his embrace and breath on my skin.
How was I ever to do this alone? What if he couldn’t get back in time to see our child’s birth?
I was stricken with anger, pain, and so much more as I barreled along in my pregnancy, almost drunk with fear, not really connecting as I should’ve with the baby in my belly, too filled with worry for my husband’s safety most of the time, despite receiving as much as contact as I was going to get.
I was beyond fortunate to get a 3D ultrasound to send him the images of our child’s gorgeous face (sex unknown at the time), because he was missing out on all of it and every opportunity I had to involve him in the pregnancy, I took. Looking back, though, I think it’s what kept me involved in it, too. Funny thing to think about, how the pregnancy was happening to me yet I was almost so ‘third-person’ about it, because there was this war going on, and I was just so wrapped up in whether or not I’d be a widowed mother, instead of rejoicing in this blessing blooming in my body.
We were oh so fortunate for him to get his leave when the baby was due.
We were so thankful the baby held out as long as he did.
We were grateful they scheduled us to induce so he could be there for the birth.
Despite the hospital’s nightmarish way of handling our care and re-breaking my tailbone injury from when I was a child (ow), our son was born May 22nd 2004, with all ten fingers and toes and one big 8lb 9oz ball of heaven.
Not being able to connect while he was in the womb? GONE. He was here, he was perfect, and I couldn’t have loved him more.
11 days later my husband returned to the war, but we were different, now. The baby was born, my husband just had to come home, now (it felt like). While I was still fearful, I wasn’t so preoccupied by it anymore.
I cherished this baby different, a little more (it felt like), because it felt like I had to, for both of us, since his daddy couldn’t. Plus, I felt like I had time to make up, lost time with him when I was too busy with worry heavy on my heart.
For the months leading up to my husband’s return home, we spoke on webcam while the baby drooled and cooed for him. I showed our son pictures, and videos of his father, and kept his daddy’s face fresh in his mind’s eye.
On October 10th 2004, when my husband came home and was greeted by his almost 5 month old son, the baby went right to him in the hangar, almost like my husband had been merely at the store for a long while, no problem whatsoever. And ever since? Those two – inseparable.
He is his daddy’s son, and today, he is five years old. Happy birthday to my favorite super hero. A super hero in so many ways you don’t even know, little man. You saved me from my worry, grieving over a husband that wasn’t even lost (just away), and you brought me back to reality and to all of you once again.
I love your eyes. You have the longest eyelashes known to man, and have since you were born.
You have the ability to make a person laugh hysterically just by your laugh alone.
I love how you love to cook with me, and how you’re such a cuddler.
You are so wicked smart, and aren’t shy about telling people about it, either.
You have me wrapped, little dude. My heart aches when you cry. My face can’t stop smiling and laughing when you’re telling jokes.
You can do splits that no boy your age should be able to do.
And yes, you are the awesomest of the awesome super heroes ever, on the face of this earth! So much so, I had to make you something. I hope you like it. It’s your own super hero cape! (Directions are here on how to make this super hero costume)
Just how is it that you’re already 5 years old?
Cut that out. Don’t you know you’re supposed to stay little forever?
Thank you for letting me be your mommy, little dude. I love you.
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