FIRST SIGHT, love at

There are some days you never forget, try as you might. One of mine was in January 1992 when my obstetrician sat me down to say he thought my baby had failed to thrive, and there was a concern I might lose him.

That was confusing to someone as big as a Peter Pan bus who still had two months to go before birth. What do you mean, lose him? I said. That’s not an option here.

I had taken care of myself and I willed my son to be OK. On March 28 at 4:21 a.m., that poor weak little baby arrived, weighing in at a strapping 8 pounds and 14 ounces. He was a golden child who had already snagged my heart.

Later, he was a star athlete and a good student. As time went on, as in anyone’s life, there were issues to face but anything that came his way he handled.

Fast forward, for the sake of the story, to another key moment … a sunny summer day four years ago. I was looking at a Chinese menu after swimming all afternoon when my then 15-year-old took off on his bike to meet up with some friends before dinner.

I remember waffling over whether to order Mu Shu Chicken when I heard the screech of brakes outside the house, and then the thud as my son and his crumpled bike flew high into the air. Then there were the screams of witnesses, the wail of ambulances, me rushing down the driveway and out into traffic, promising he would be OK, even though I feared it was a lie.

Then months and years of recovery after being hit by a person who was eating and driving at the same time.

So, my son has cheated death a few times in his young life, as an infant, and a young man. He is made of strong stuff. Most teens drive their parents to drink with their angst and rebellion, and, believe me, he’s no different in that respect.

But something changes as a child when you face your own mortality. You approach life in a different way.

Tonight, on the eve of my son’s 19th birthday, my mind travels back to his very first, in those precious new minutes of life. I’d heard new moms say they weren’t quite sure what to make of their newborns. But when I laid eyes on mine, I felt I’d known him forever; it was love at first sight.

I knew in that moment that child would be special. And I was right.

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About Michele

I am a freelance writer with three kids, two cats, and a dog with thyroid disease. I'm bouncing back from a divorce and making the most of every day. There is so much beauty around me. I am grateful!
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5 Responses to FIRST SIGHT, love at

  1. oldancestor says:

    My story isn’t quite like that, but yours reminded me of it.

    Several months into my wife’s pregnancy, mere days after we had made the dramatic announcement (with pink and blue foil-wrapped chocolate cigars followed by the tears of female relatives), the bleeding started. A lot of it. Enough that we were sure she’d had a miscarriage.

    We made an appointment with her OB-Gyn once the bleeding stopped, and headed into that office with our heads low, talk of “starting over” and “should we try again?” heavy in the air.

    They hooked up the equipment to listen for a heart beat and… ba-bump ba-bump ba-bump.

    Stronger than ever.

    My son is 9 now, and whenever he really really aggravates me and I am ready to sell him into a life of sweatshop labor in a third-world country as punishment, I think about this story.

  2. Michele says:

    that’s a great story, oldancestor. thanks for sharing it.

  3. suzanne1225 says:

    I am mom to three boys. Not boys anymore; my oldest is almost 27, next is almost 25, then a 19 year old. It’s really hard to believe how much time has passed, and that they are men, not boys at all anymore.

    When we were going through the teen years, which were hellish beyond belief for a number of reasons, not the least of which was a fairly drawn out and difficult divorce, the only thing that kept me from losing it completely with them was this. Late at night, when all had finally quieted down, I would go in and watch each of them sleeping, and I would remember them as babies, sleeping sweetly, with the promise of their lives ahead of them, and the passionate love I felt then would overcome me once again. They could live another day.

  4. Michele says:

    suzanne, i’m so glad you shared that with us. i often wonder if i’ll survive the teen years. but i have those same moments when i am reminded of why they are so special, and everything to me.

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