I was afraid of all of those things 5 years ago when Jack was born.
It’s so hard to express what I want to say about the last 5 years. The heartbreaking acceptance that giving birth at just 28weeks and 5 days was the only way to save my life and my little boy’s. We had only discovered he was a boy just a few weeks earlier and had to make a sudden decision to give him a name, as I was being transferred to a hospital that could better take care of him, so small and so early. His birth started as vigil against death, by two traumatized and frightened parents. Afraid to love. We watched that little boy fight against a machine that was keeping him alive. We celebrated when he won the battle against that machine and began to breathe on his own. But yet we still held our own breath. And maybe I still am.
So many things have happened since those early months…some I have shared through our blog, some are just thoughts on a page, still others I have kept to myself for they are just too hard to reveal, making them more real than I care to remember or think about. But through it all, Jack Ryan has revealed himself as an amazing little boy…who is not so little any more. He’s enamored by anything with wheels and remembers his manners most of the time. He asks hundreds of questions a day…most of which he usually knows the answer. He likes to snuggle on the couch and cuddle in the rocking chair before bed (his distinctions). He calls his little sister “babe” as she steals his toys and when he introduces himself to someone new, he always says my sister Harper is one. He sings “I love you so much Harper,” but then tells me to stop singing because I have a terrible voice (which is so true). I’m pretty sure he can read. He doesn’t like to write, but he does like to run. He loves yard work and noodles with parmesan cheese. He's ready for another year of preschool, but he doesn't want to learn anymore songs! He can jump far and swim underwater. He's always asking to bake something or to go somewhere. His brain works faster than his mouth. And he doesn't want to nap ever again. He will wear Green Lantern undies, but not the Flash. He is everything I was afraid to hope for. And so much more.
While the past five years have felt like a lifetime in some ways, we also have hope that our little man has a lifetime ahead of him. Even though prematurity is still a “big player” in our lives, we have faith that it won’t always be that way.
Tomorrow, he will be five. All of him, who he is and who he will be, I did not allow myself to imagine five years ago. But now I have faith. I have hope. And more love than I could ever imagine for a little boy. Jack Ryan.
|A treasured piece of art created by Jack's cousin, Alexis. Jack, at birth, on 8/10/10. Jack now!|