I found myself trying to squeeze into a booth at Denny's. "Auugh<" I said to the waiter. "I don't think I can fit." Which was the truth, and a great embarrassing shame. I had recently gained 77 pounds and was fatter than fat could even be. My poor feet were pouring themselves out of the only pair of househoes I could find to fit.
The waitress moved us to a table, which was good because I could scoot the chair back. Way back, in order to fit.
Just a few hours later and I found myself in the hospital; victim of labor induced pre-eclampsia. It was a good day to be expecting a child. Sept 21st, my sister-inlaw's birthday. My water broke and we began to expect the birth of our first child.
Sept. 22nd. It would be a good day for this little boy to be born. On Sept 22,, 1990, I decided to follow Christ. It was, in a sense, my re-birthday. What a lovely day to give birth to my first child- a boy I had already named Marcus.
Sept. 23rd. All I can remember thinking was that, if this child was waiting to be born on his father's birthday just three days more- I would KILL him. And speaking of KILL. Dustan thought day three of labor would be a good time to munch down on donuts. And the doctor finally decided that a c-section would be an option. And he and Dustan quarreled. I had not, afterall, according to the father of this ever patient baby, been in labor for three days just to have the baby cut out of me. I had pushed for EIGHT hours, and all I could think of was strangling the both of them.
Everything else was a blur. The bad kind of blur. The unconscious kind of blur. But. We made it. Both of us. A very wounded mother soon was holding her almost grown 10 pound son. He was so serious. So old, even in those first few moments. And as I held him, as I snuggled him into my breast and smelled his newborn self, I could never have imagined the years that would follow.
I could have never imagined the stress, the joy, the weeping, the call to Social services to pick him up because I "had HAD it", the eventual diagnosis of aspbergers. I could have never imagined that that child would one day have the heart of a poet. passionate, and quiet, Stewing about the world and all it's contents. I could have never imagined that he would struggle to speak and then write songs and stories that would bring my heart to it's knees. I never would have thought that he would be so quick to anger, so slow to say sorry, so afraid to look others in the eyes.
And just a few years later, as he began to grow, and emerge into the child he was becoming, I would have never imagined that at nine years old, I would have a fellow worker in the early morn. Someone to clear the dishwasher as I loaded it up, someone to chatter with me about what would happen "if". "If". The word of his life. Everything in his mind, begins with, "What if."
And his eventual answers thrill my spirit. They come out through his fingers, and his thoughts. Answers beautiful.
Nine years ago today, as I held Marcus Wade King for the very first time, I could not have even imagined what Sept 23rd, 2008 would be like. Beautiful, joyful, and still so very serious.
By the way: This child, who in the past has shunned public exposure, begged for a birthday dinner at Chevy's. He practically fell over with giddyness when they came out singing and placed a sombrero on his head. When we asked him if the reason he chose Chevy's was the hat, he responded, that he just wanted everyone to look at him and know it was his birthday.
I'm kind of proud of him. I can't help it.