My Sunshine Boy

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Love for me has never been as constant as the North Star.

[I’m sure that Shakespeare is rolling over in his grave as I bastardize one of his most famous quotes.]

Love for me ebbs and wanes and then is bolstered by some minuscule occurrence and all is right with the world again.

This holds true in my life with things that I love as it does with people who I love.

But isn’t that how life is, really? A cyclic progression of rights and wrongs. Of missteps and tiny transgressions. Which all converge to make you feel out of control and out of luck?

A year ago today, my son was born. He is the only son who I will ever have. He is my “sunshine boy” and his name is Oliver.

I have referenced Oliver as “the unwanted child” and as is often the case when I write off-the-cuff, my emotions and fingers get ahead of my brain and, though what I wrote is no less true now than when I wrote that piece, I feel that some clarification is needed.

Oliver was not “unwanted”. The pregnancy. That theoretical child who was made real when I took that pregnancy test was unwanted because it wasn’t convenient. It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t prepared for. It was foisted upon me like you would shove a ten ton boulder into someone’s unsuspecting hands.

No. Oliver was not unwanted.

After I recovered from the shock that we felt, the shock that everyone around us felt, I came to love that growing ball of cells in my uterus. I found myself talking to those cells – something I never did while I was pregnant with Cara.

It was the day that I had my first pre-natal check-up [at around six weeks gone] and they couldn’t find anything in my uterus that I realized just how wanted Oliver was.

And now, a year later, I find myself thinking about love. About my love.

My love for my husband. For my children. For myself.

There are days when I wake up to a happy and smiling baby boy whose face could light a thousand rooms and my heart swells with joy and adoration for him.

There are also days…maybe not days…moments when Oliver clings to me so tightly that it’s almost as if he wants to squeeze the very breath from me that I am overwhelmed by him. By my life. And all I want to do is run away.

To runaway from the love and the acceptance.

To run away from the life that Tucker and I have created and I never do. I never do because I know in my heart of hearts that no matter how bad things get, Oliver is the proof brought to flesh that even when things seem their bleakest, sometimes…if you’re very, very lucky…things turn out for the better. Sometimes there is a silver lining to that cloud and sometimes things aren’t as bad as they might seem.

I’m typing this at almost the exact moment when I went into labor with Oliver. By that point, he had cemented himself into our lives. He had become as real as Caroline and as vital as any birthed child.

Hours later, I held him in my arms and I wept.

I cried because of not wanting to be pregnant. I cried because there had been a time when I had thought him…the pregnancy…untimely and I was sorry. I am still sorry.

My sunshine boy is now one.

He has lived through an entire year of my ebbing and waning love. Through an entire year of utterly joyous moments that have made everything – the sorrow, the guilt, the pain, the anger, the uncertainty – worth it.

My sunshine boy is one. And I am grateful.