I have sat down at the computer so may times in the past few weeks, ready to pour out all of the things that have been in my heart and on my mind. It happens to me a lot- I become like a clogged pipe, with lots to move through and no way to do it. A good friend of mine is a screenwriter, and he once told me that they key to beating writers block is to just sit down and type. Just write and write and write and, much like Drano down the kitchen sink, things will start to drain again.
On Thanksgiving Day, my one and only baby turned six. Six is a big deal. Six is a two hand age. It's 2,190 days that somehow went by in the blink of an eye and in a lifetime. PJ is still quite a bit like that puff of air they handed me at 4:17 in the morning in 2009. He is still blonde, still all arms and legs, and still has the tiniest butt I have ever seen (Truly. It's ridiculous and I don't know how he sits and he gets it from his father). He is still stubborn (Lord help me.) and is still loud. And he still means more to me than I ever thought was possible. I have checked to make sure he is still breathing 2,190 nights in a row. Since that very night he was born, that hasn't changed.
But six years is still a nice bit of road, and there has been and growth and happiness and heartbreak already. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, and with luck, there will be more chunks of six years to walk ahead of us. Raising this human has been the greatest privilege of my life, and I am thankful every day for PJ and everything that comes with him. I'm thankful when it's easy and thankful when it's hard.
I wanted to sit down and celebrate this precious life, put down all of the things I was feeling about my sweet son, but then the world turned dark. It somehow seemed like flouting my blessings to sit and write about everything I was happy about (to all six people who read this blog, but you know what I mean). I would sit down at the computer to write about joy and just. could. not. write.
When terrible things happen, I think every mother wonders how they will try to help their child make sense of things. As I watched Paris explode in bullets and parents standing outside of a building in San Bernadino, wondering if their babies would come out, I was slightly thankful for the buffer of Autism. PJ can't fully express his thoughts and feelings about his surroundings yet. He's not asking questions about why these things happen and I am thankful for that. I am thankful because I would not know what to tell him.
Six years ago, I was in the hospital with my newborn son. It was just us- everyone else had gone home to try and salvage the Thanksgiving meal we had so rudely interrupted. I decided to forgo the turkey and, instead, had tortellini's, eyeing this baby as I ate. I felt like I had no idea what to do, where to go, how to make sure that PJ had the best life possible. I can't change the world for PJ, as much as I would like to sometimes. And, as Anne said, "...in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." In six years, I have seen the world be the best it can be and the worst it can be. I myself have been the best I can be and the worst I can be. Parenthood, in general, brings that out in a person. And I have seen my son blossom in ways I never imagined at 4:17am when I held him on the outside for the first time.
Yes. In six years, we have seen terrible things happen. But, in six years, I watched my baby take his first steps. I heard him say his first two-syllable word, the one was waited so very long for (rainbow!). I've watched him perform in front of hundreds of people, surf the waves like a champion, and attend his first "school friend" birthday party. There has been heartache, but there have also been thousands of tiny miracles, millions of seconds that took my breath away. There is just as much room- if not more- for the little miracles as there is for the heartache, and if PJ ever asks me why bad things happen, I think I will remind him of that. And I'll also remind him that a world with him in it is a world worth living in. A world with my sweet, funny, outrageous, brave, smart, loving six year old.