Man Child

When I am a very old lady
and can’t remember my name,
or what I just ate for lunch…
I will remember
that once upon a time
you wanted to marry me.

I will think of the way
you put crayons
between your toes
til you needed them.
And how there was a place
in every outfit
for a sword.

I will see you
putting pictures on paper,
images emerging
from that mysterious
inside
place…
…while my heart
pounded
with wonder.

I will see you,
walking stick in hand,
pack of dogs at your feet.
Master of the farm.

Lego creations
of marvelous intricacy.
Do you remember those?

It is funny to me
how in old videos
you leap into the frame.
Ebullient.
Irrepressible.
Tumult of delight.

Cacophony of ideas
whirl round
in your head…
words
not
fast
enough…

And music…
what shall I say of that?
Of being paid to sing,
when you would have gladly
sung for free?
Of backyard operas?
Of piano pieces rendered
in a breathless
allegro molto vivace!

Did you know then…
that she was the muse
that would sing you?
Whose seduction
you could not escape?

There is a picture of you.
You hold a Bible
near your heart.
When did it sink
so deep
inside you?
That God grace…
that bit of glory
uniquely yours.

And of love…
You never have known how to love,
except wholly.
You never have been able to give,
but all.
It has been costly.
It has been redemptive.
It has been good.

How could I have known
that in you, my son,
I would find a
friend for my soul?
One whose heart
resounds…
words unspoken
but known.

I wonder…
in those later years
when memory is leaking away
like water
from so many holes
in a tired old pail,
will I remember this day
when my man-child
became man?
How my heart swelled with pride
and gratitude
and gladness?

I think it will be part
of the deep knowing
…that lingers
when words are gone.
I hope so.

Happy 18th Birthday, Jake! Being your mother is inexpressible gift. I could not be more proud of the man you are becoming. Thank you for loving extravagantly, for seeing deeply, for listening intently. Thank you for the unadulterated joy you bring to my life and to the lives of others. Thank you for curiosity and creativity. Thank you for all the times when I am doing ordinary things in our home and am serenaded by extraordinary music. Yours.

Life with you is always an adventure. And the adventure has only just barely begun. Godspeed! I love you!