Friday, November 30, 2012

Nine Years (also known as a lifetime)

In 2003, the top movies were Finding Nemo, The Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and X2.  The top songs that year were "In da Club" by 50 cent, "Unwell" by Matchbox Twenty, "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence, and "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake.  The fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix had been released that summer, and The third movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban wouldn't be in theaters for another few months.  Notable deaths that year were Maurice Gibb (of the Bee Gees), Katharine Hepburn, Barry White, John Ritter, and Johnathan Brandis. 

And a very special little boy was born.  December 1st, at 7:40 a.m.  The first birth at Good Samaritan Hospital for the month.  My baby boy.

When I got pregnant with Aiden, I wasn't more than a child myself.  Nineteen, scared shitless, and not even sure that I ever wanted to be a parent.  I quickly fell in love with the little being growing inside of me.  I cannot imagine my life, now, without him. 

It wasn't easy.  The complications of being a single parent were multiplied, when unknown to myself, (my family, even my doctor) Aiden was born with bilateral clubfoot.  I knew nothing of the condition, but quickly did any and all research I could. 

It's been a learning process for all of us, Aiden included, who never dealt with ridicule from classmates up until last year when some of the older kids referred to him as "crooked feet."  Children are so readily accepting of others differences, it's always the adults who had the biggest problem with his braces, with his casts, with his bar brace.  Children always just wanted to know what they were, they never cared the reason behind them.  Adults, are judgy.  I was asked multiple times while in the grocery store how I managed to break both of my baby's legs.

Raising Aiden has been the toughest, yet the most rewarding experience of my life.  I am NOT a perfect mother, I am so far from it that there are days when I don't know that I even deserve that title.  However, I have a little boy who will even defend me to myself.  Who will tell me that I'm the best mom ever.  Who loves me so effortlessly, and so unconditionally that it brings tears to my eyes even typing about it.  My child is not perfect, he is so flawed, like his mother, yet everything about him is kind, caring, and compassionate.  He speaks his mind and lets his imagination flow.  There isn't someone he comes across that he can't talk to with ease.  He is loved by so many people, I don't think he even understands how much.

I know that I go on this tirade every year.  How much I've grown, how much he's grown, etc, etc.  I am aware how boring and dull it may sound to someone who doesn't have children, or even those that do.

Tonight, I climbed up onto the top bunk of his bunk bed with him while I was tucking him in.  I watched him button up his pajamas that are about a size too small, watched him arrange his stuffed animals, his pillows, his tissues and his flashlight into just the right positions.  I laid down next to him, me the big spoon, and pulled him up close to me, kissed his shaggy hair, and I thanked him. 

I thanked him for being mine.

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