He entered the world six weeks early on the gentle scales of 5 pounds 6 ounces. Small, but mighty.
Averting crisis twice with the near miscarriage at twelve weeks and the premature labor at twenty weeks, it might be said that he did his toughest fighting before he ever took his first breath. Over the years, there has been more fighting. Fighting with his brother. Fighting over curfews. Fighting for real or perceived injustice. Fighting to be his own person in this world.
He will graduate high school this week. I blinked three times and the tiny baby that used to nestle in my arms has grown and I must release him to the living of his life. I’d like to say that I am ready, but secret parts of me withhold their consent.
The heart finds itself in a precarious place when it must release that which it birthed. There is joy, swirled three times with a twist of grief. I’m proud of who he has become, yet questioning if I could of or should have done more. Should I have made him eat more vegetables? Why did I ever introduce him to video games? Did I read to him enough when he was little? Did my faith merely influence him or did it inspire him to make it his own? I am an artist fussing over the finishing touches.
Only a mother really understand how the heart kicks and screams for more time. How unnatural it is to send a child from your own body out into the world. The heart instinctively clasps that which it loves; it fights to understand the language of letting go. What nonsense it seems that the ten little fingers and toes that were nightly counted and kissed and tucked beneath soft blankets will go their own way without you. It must be so, but only a mother understands why I would climb the hands of Father Time and break his tick-tocking to have more little fingers and toes moments. Only a mother knows the fight to give life is equal to the fight to release it to its own living.
Fight on, my son! Fight to be who you were made to be. Fight for righteousness, truth, justice and mercy. Fight to live the life that is truly life. Fight for the small. Fight and be mighty!