There are so many things that I can imagine about what a 2yr old brown boy who is product of my rearing and DNA, would be doing at 7am the morning of his birthday.
I think you’d be too cool to care that today you’re 2 years old. My little hero! Laying in bed unbothered that your mom seems to be overly excited about this tiny milestone. You’d probably say it, “I’m just two ma!” The birth day breakfast I made of eggs no cheese, tiny blueberry pancakes, and fruit will go untouched in favor of cartoon’s because I agreed to let you watch two hours of TV today. I imagine you’re one of those independent two year olds. Man of his house in diapers. Respectful enough to answer me when I call you but politely asks not be be disturbed during your weekly TV allowance. My only request is that you split up that time as before getting dressed and after getting dressed. You’d say “Okay ma” and I’d oblige to giving you space because I love you and today is your birthday and you deserve it.
Instead, I’m here. In this house all alone; typing this very message thru leaky eyes. Trying not to become overwhelmed. All week, I’ve tried to be too busy to notice. I tried to ignore the increasing awareness that things are not how they are supposed to be. That’s all I can describe this constant comparison as. Everyday, I’m aware that there is an alternate reality where we exist. You and I, a happy fulfilled mom and her healthy happy baby boy. When the kids at church are playing or dancing, I see you in the middle dancing awkwardly yet comfortably right along with them. When I’m at the movies watching the animated film I’ve been dying to see, I imagine you laughing right beside me trying to reach into the popcorn and asking for a sip of my drink. When I’m crawling into bed, I’m all ready to surrender the covers should you want a little more and hanging half off the edge cause my little king is a wild sleeper.
There are so many questions I’ll never have answers to. Even today. Do you want a Power Ranger themed party or Despicable Me? Do you want to wear that suit you had for the wedding or that dapper outfit you picked out? Afro today or cornrolls?
Do they celebrate birthday’s in Heaven? What about deaths? Or maybe they call it a return date? Are they throwing you a party or maybe you get to hang out with me for a while? All your grandma’s are there and I’m sure you’re spoiled. Hug and thank them. I heard there’s a playground where the slide doesn’t end and a buffet of everything your never had. Forget a puppy, I bet you have a pet lion! Who’s your best friend? Does Jesus playful give you birthday tickles? I asked him too for me.
I promise to try to be strong today. Not to mourn the time we didn’t have but be thankful for the time we did. To remember your eyes and your skin against mine. The sound of your voice and the smell of your neck. To sit peacefully in God’s presence and not judge the irresponsible outside of it. I’ll remember what your name means in hopes it brings me comfort.
God with us in a long narrow space.
Happy Birthday to my son, Emmanuel Langston Gillison. Though apart, we are forever connected in this long narrow space where God, you, and I meet. I love you more everyday. Please continue to watch over me and meet me in my dreams.
Ps: I got the birthday gift you gave. Thank you. ♡♡♡