A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday

Daddy and Wes

Dear Wesley Scott,

Your middle name was supposed to be Benjamin. We had it picked out for years. But then your sister was born, and then another, and pretty soon, we almost gave up on it entirely.

I always wanted a little boy though. You can blame your uncles for that. They were the best brothers an only-daughter could ask for.

But your dad was happily convinced that if we had more children, they’d be girls, too. But I wasn’t so sure. Truth is, I wasn’t sure of a lot of things before you were born.

But then you surprised us, and even in my belly you seemed to radiate hope.

Hope. That was going to be your middle name if you were a girl. But that ultrasound changed everything, and at the very last minute I asked your dad if we could name you after him instead of my twin brother. He reluctantly agreed since he’s not the self-aggrandizing type.

You’re so much like him already, you and your daddy, how you both work so hard, how you’re both laid back and left-handed, how you both love to kiss me on the lips.

You’re crazy about him, too, following him around like a lovesick puppy. Today, while he was cutting the grass, you stalked him in the backyard with that bubble-blowing lawn mower we got you for your birthday. You watched his every move with those big, black-brown eyes of yours, yelling after him, “Daddy go tractor!”

I thought I’d never get you two inside again.

But I did, and we celebrated your second birthday with cupcakes and balloons and family. All your favorites. We celebrated your dad’s homecoming tonight, too, because he’s been in Haiti for ten days, working in medical clinics, teaching nursing students, mostly just loving people the best way he knows how: with his head, heart, and hands. And we missed him like crazy, you most of all. Maybe that’s why you kept taking his face in your dimpled hands, saying over and over, “My Daddy.”

But it’s easy to see why you love him so much, why you want to squeeze his face like you do. He’s an amazing person, someone I never knew admitted I needed until you were well on your way. It’s only taken three babies for me to finally understand unconditional love. Some of us, I guess, are slow learners.

But that’s why I wanted to give you his name, partly to honor him for who he is and to help forge a special bond between you two. But secretly I’m hoping his name and all the good things that go with it will rub off on you, like that mulch stain you wore on your butt all day.

So do me a favor? Keep watching him. There’s a lot more he can teach you about life and love and lawn mowers. Heaven knows he’s taught me so much. I guess that’s just what happens when you take the man’s name.

Love,
Mama

i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of  life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth – e. e. cummings

Comments

  1. Meg,
    You never cease to amaze and inspire me with your writing. YOu have a gift !!! Beautiful tribute to both of the men in your life.

  2. Megan, thanks again for perfectly expressing my thoughts from over the years, even ones I was not aware of till now ~

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