Friday, January 20, 2012

My Best Birthday Present Ever

It’s the shared birthday weekend in our house, and a yearly date with myself when my mind dances through the years.  Twenty three years ago, on January 20th, two days before my birthday, I got the best present ever. The cesarean, premature birth of our son Abram, three weeks before his due date of February 2nd. 
Without regaling the full story (cue clapping and cheering from the assembled peanut gallery) I will just share that we almost lost him.  A high risk, fertility drug pregnancy, gestational diabetes, and an OB GYN that was new and not comparing weekly sonogram tests results almost cost us the joy of this child. We’d come within a day or two of him being stillborn. 
Unthinkable.  I’ve come close to losing some of the most precious things in my life, and have even lost some a few of them as well, but none measures to the level of that. 
Twenty three years is a good measure of time that’s passed in the blink of an eye.  I think of myself those many years ago, as a new mother and I barely remember what I was like – or what it felt like to be me…until…I flash through the moments of Abe’s life - like snapshots in time that happened only a moment ago.  I remember the exact weight of him on my chest as he napped, the smell of his bubble bath as he built castles on the tub walls with foam blocks, the sound of his unrestrained laughter as he wrestled with Steve, the force of him as he ran towards me and jumped into my arms.  My senses come alive and I am that mother again, at 26, at 33, and 44.  Small and not so small moments, pivotal times in his life and mine, wound together in this birthday dance in my head.
Side by side, our first 23 years couldn’t be more different.  At 23, I’d never lived alone, was married for three years, would soon buy our home (where we still live today), had had two miscarriages and felt “settled” in my life.  Abe’s 23rd year finds him dating, exploring life and searching for the road that best suits him. With a few years of college under his belt, he carries a passion for and more awareness of (and activist activities in) individual rights and social injustices than I will ever have. He’s traveled to Europe for two weeks on a French Horn music tour and lives on his own.  (Not counting Epcot, his dad and I have been to Canada and about 20 miles inside the Mexico border J).
And that makes me smile.  His life shouldn’t mirror mine.  When he looks back, at whatever age he does, he’ll know he’s lived his life on his own terms.  Just like my life is on mine.  We share enough.  We share the foundation.  We share his childhood, his teenage years and the time he’s come into being an adult and the intelligent, giving and loving young man that he is.  We share the laughter, the long conversations (pick your place – the dinner table, the car, during a walk), the private family humor, the tears, the arguments, the loving (and painful) lessons learned, the secrets shared, and the respect we feel for one another.  Oh, and the hugs.  Abe’s hugs are unabashedly long and heartfelt and damn near one of the most precious things about him.  Never having experienced one of them?  Unthinkable.
If I were to indulge in just one birthday wish for myself of our shared birthday weekend, it would be to time travel back about twenty years, give or take a few days.  Bath time is done, pajamas are on, we have our snack and are curled up on the couch to read a bed time story (or maybe watch Nature’s Seasons in the Sea).   There’s no yesterday or tomorrow.  We are together and time stands still.

The Morgan Three today ~ lucky me!!!


  1. Wonderful post. There is nothing better than family and a life well loved.

  2. This was just beautiful to read!! OH how time does fly. My oldest isn't 23 but 15 almost 16 and I'm trying really hard to make time stand still for a little longer than moment at a time. So far--it keeps marching forward. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!! Cheers, Jenn

  3. You have inspired me with this wonderful post. I need to write of my children's youth. I need to remember on paper, while I am able, the joy of motherhood. Maybe also some of the tears. I need to record the pride and satisfaction I feel every time I speak of my kids or their kids.
    Thanks for the inspiration! My little muse. :)

  4. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lovely story, Amy! Abe truly is a miracle in your life. I've only met you all in person once (and we had a great Mexican dinner!) but I remember being impressed with Abe, how intelligent and polite he was (he called me "Mrs. Kehoe", lol--which not many kids do these days with their parents' friends! It was nice.) Happy birthday to Abe and to you, too!

  6. Thank you all for the kind words and taking the time to read my post! :)