not such a baby

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I always knew there would be three.  

 

And that as much as they would be mine, they'd really be their own little dudes.  Of me, but just as much as I am of them.  

 

It's always made me a bit uncomfortable to speak of them as "mine."  If someone said, "Thanks for letting me hold your son," I always would answer, "Well, he's your nephew." Or grandson or godson or whatever.  In my culture, nearly every adult is Auntie or Uncle So-&-So.

 

And I meant it.  I mean it still.  My brothers & I would stomp all over San Francisco as wee little kids, totally confident in our safety.  I believe it was because our family was so large, musical & full of laughter.  At that time, our church life was also very strong, & our extended community was found all over the city.  Our roots were thick, & deep & long.  We've grown up feeling anchored, strongly held by forces much larger than our selves.  We've always known that there's a history behind us & a future ahead.

 

This is what I want for my boys.  To know that they are mine, with everything I might offer them. 

 

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To be able to look up to their Daddy & have their gazes always greeted by his own deeply tender security.  But even more for them to feel held by their larger, stronger, more diverse communities.  

 

So you'd think I'd be ready to let Mekhi find his own place in this world.  

 

He's been taking his first nature walks with us.  On his own two feet.  He loves every bit of the getting ready & the getting going.   He's basically spending all of his inside time lingering at the door, waiting for some kind soul to let him out.  He's like a puppy, except that puppies stay with you when they grow up.

 

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I'm a bit torn over the whole thing.  

 

He's my last baby.  After the first two were born, sweetly & gently at home in the water, I knew I was done.  I barely survived my pregnancies with a rare condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum.  But inside I was grieving for the number 3 I'd never meet.  I just knew he was out there, just like I knew the first two were.  It was brought up many times to me that I should end my pregnancies.  No way.  I knew these babies who were coming.  I just knew them & somehow I knew there was someone else.  I mourned that I was done after those two.

 

And I might have prayed, secretly, maybe many times, for a pregnancy that would take me by surprise.  That one day I'd wake up & be 3 months along with no sign of illness.  And I'm am not kidding you.  He took me that far along before letting me know he was there.   6 1/2 months later, he was also born at home, to a quiet midnight house.  D woke up the boys.  I heard only 2 things my entire labor, my midwives, Tosi & Rachel whispering, "Oh, look he's being born into her own hands."  And Lake, newly 2 years old, saying, "Can I have another cookie?"

 

And in a few days, he'll be one year old.  

 

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We've been watching him walk, run, get on his rocking horse, sweep, rake the leaves.  

 

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He's a little force & he's hardly "mine."  He's more his brothers, & it's humbling.  

 

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I'm much more the witness.  And when I remember that, I just feel so lucky & grateful.  

 

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His roots are not so deep yet, & I still get to be there for his many, many falls.

 

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But I'm watching him find his own place, watching him make friends with the trees, the skies & the neighbors.  I'm watching him charm the co-op workers & mailman.  

 

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His first word was thank you.  A perfect word for someone who's made his own way here with such strength & grace.  

 

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No, Kai.  Thank you.