January 15th, 2011

Caden,

I have never written this story, and I’ve only told it to a handful of people, but I can remember it like it was yesterday. But it wasn’t until last night, when you curled beside my flu-ridden body, that I remembered again. It’s been a long time since I remembered that memory and after last night, that memory brightened in a crazy, beautiful way.

Rewind six years…

It was a snowy, Saturday evening, and I was at the local movie theater with my girlfriend; we had decided on  watching Country Strong.  Your daddy was out of town, visiting a friend in Georgia, and in three days, we were going to have our gender ultrasound.  My belly was swollen and looked like a mini Cirque du Soleil performance beneath my black, maternity shirt that tied at the side (it was rather hipster looking), and I was wearing a warm, fuzzy scarf. My feet were a little swollen inside my black flats, and my rings were becoming snug on my finger. I honestly can’t tell you what specific part of the movie got me sobbing, but I believe it was a combo of preggo hormones, missing your daddy, and being incredibly thankful that your daddy and I weren’t being derailed like Kelly Canter and Beau Hutton. Seriously, the tears started rolling down my cheeks, and I couldn’t stop. Quietly, in the middle of that dark theater, I allowed the tears to run down my cheeks and onto my scarf. And as I cried, I will never forget what happened. Gently, and very softly, I felt (what felt like a baby hand) stroke the inside of my belly. I started to cry some more. Again, I felt that little hand, calmly offering comfort. I had NEVER, EVER felt that before, and it seemed perfectly timed to my tears.

As we exited the theater and headed to our cars, I remember driving home and crying some more. Again, the soft touch was coming from inside. It was CRAZY unbelievable. I crawled into bed that night and immediately called your daddy. Through tears, I remember saying these words. “Don,  I really think it’s a boy. I really, really do.” I remember him being skeptical but I kept asserting, “It’s like he knew that I was sad and alone, and like he was taking care of me while you were away.” Deep in my soul, I really and truly believed you were a boy.

And sure enough, three days later, we found out that you were indeed a BOY.

I knew it; I just KNEW it.

From that night on, any time I would cry alligator tears, I would feel that sweet, little hand rubbing the inside of my belly. Seriously, it happened–like EVERY time–but only when I was sad and hurting. NEVER any other time.

But as time has passed and as other memories have filled my heart and our home, it’s been quite some time since I remembered that memory, those memories. Until last night.

Laying in my bed, trembling with fever shivers that shake your teeth and numb your bones, you crawled in beside me. Snuggling as close as you could get, without laying on top of me, I felt your warmth.

And then it came.

Small, soft strokes on the top of my forehead. “I’m sorry you’re not feeling well, Mommy. I can pray for you.”

Immediately, the water works came. Immediately, the memory flooded my mama heart.

“Dear Jesus, please be with mommy. Please help her to feel better and help her sleep well. Amen.”

And as I lay there, holding onto you, our growing son, I told you the story of January 15th, 2011…when I knew you were our son–our sweet, aware, and nurturing son.

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