I wrote this post 5 years ago, and every word is still true (except that J is a man now, not in-between anymore). Happy 21st birthday, my beautiful boy.
For J as he goes
The first time I saw him was in the watery black and white sonogram image; there, like a string of pearls was his spine, curled inside the inky blackness that was me.
On a summer day when he was four, he ran across the green grass of the backyard, his brown skin as alive as any animal’s, and there it was again, that spine, so straight, so fluid, and there were no words, only a primal shock of recognition: something that was mine and not mine.
Later he sat upright at the piano, those straight shoulders and his long, deft fingers, so deliberate on the keys. Whatever he was creating was pulling him farther and farther into his own world, someplace only he could hear. It was like watching beauty become itself.
Now, I watch as he cycles away from me, then stops, turns back and waves, then rides on. He moves with this same lithe, fluid strength, not a boy, not a man, but some exquisite creature somewhere in between. That spine, those shoulders.
I can tell myself that I grew every cell of his body inside of my own, but I know that I am lying, and using words to bridge the unbridgeable distance that began to grow and widen the moment his cells began to divide, and divide, and divide, until they became everything that he would need to become himself.
now all the fingers of this tree(darling)have
and now you are and i am now and we’re
a mystery which will never happen again,
a miracle which has never happened before–
and shining this our now must come to then
by e.e. cummings