happy birthday, my sweet boy


But he'll always be my baby boy to me.

The following is a journal entry from sometime in 2005, when Art was just 7.

Friday night was the sock hop at Art's school. It was my first sock hop and the experience was surreal. Children everywhere, screaming, flailing, sweating, running through the darkness, bouncing off one another in quick bursts of disco light like a pin ball machine.

Leaving the school afterwards he told me his throat hurt. So we went to the grocery for ice cream and Tylenol. By 9:30 pm it was bedtime for the boy.

My sister came over for a Sex and the City marathon, one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Well, that and People magazine. Janna says I'm the only person she knows who can simultaneously appreciate AdBuster's and People magazine. Anyways, we finished around 1 am and I crawled into bed with a tiny inferno.

We slept closely. I listened to his sad sleepy moans, watched his chest rise and fall and felt his warm sick breath on my face.

By 2:30 am I got up to use the bathroom. Unable to distinguish between the flushing and his howling (a notable precursor to bedside vomiting), I returned to find the boy puking all over my pretty pink bedroom.

Did I mention he had ice cream before bed?

So, he curled up with a clean blanky and pillow in his usual post puke spot—on the fuzzy rug near the heat vent on the bathroom floor—until 6 am. Intermittently touching his neck, whispering I love you and kissing his forehead, I washed sheets, comforters, the bed skirt and pillow shams. Cleaned the floor and the dresser and disinfected the toilet over and over.

Somehow, in this rhythm, my mind rewound to another lifetime. I remembered wee morning breast feeding's slumped over in an oversized plum armchair. I remembered the humility of answering the door in a t-shirt soaked in two visible streams of breast milk. I remembered trying not to quote Sesame Street among my childless friends too often. And I remembered not quite recognizing myself in the mirror anymore.

I remembered it all. And it made my heart smile like it hadn't in a long, long time—stopping to be reminded of the overwhelming depth of love I have for my child. This boy who made me lucky enough to be his mama.


Jeremy said...


Scout said...

Joy, this is so touching. What a wonderful post.

joy patrice said...

thanks you two xoxo :)

CassieMarie said...

Lovely. :) :) :) I hope he gets the chance to read it someday. Happy belated birthday to your son. :)