I got out of the water, but it wasn’t the swarms of tiny, almost invisible jellyfish that forced me back to the beach. The swell… the motion, while I stood there tip-toed on the bottom in between waves, was making me sick. If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought I was drunk. It wasn’t any better on the beach. The air was so dense, and it was sweltering, even under the cabana we’d rented for the day. I didn’t dare watch the ocean. Sea-sick. I couldn’t read my book. The words swam across the page, and that made me sea sick too. All I could do was sit. Wonder. Beautiful Phuket. I just came out on the other side of a miserable case of food poisoning. The waiter had giggled when I ordered the soup. I thought it was because he didn’t think I could handle the spice, but maybe it was because he knew I would be spending the next three days sprawled on a hotel resort bed with nothing to watch but headline news. On a loop. Larry King was interviewing Eartha Kitt and flirting with her in a super creepy way. On a loop. All of it on a loop.
That could have been the reason I felt so awful on the beach, but it wasn’t. Something like two weeks later, then in Stellenbosch, South Africa, I found out what it was. It was you.
You were born with that dimple on your chin, unlike anyone. You were COVERED in hair. You were amazing, head to toe. You didn’t cry. When you needed something, you yelled. You’ve grown up so much. You are SO FUNNY, and so much braver than I. Half the time I look at you, I still see that toddler that was so sweet, he wouldn’t even fight back if another kid swatted him. The other half of the time, I see you turning into a swaggering teenager, and I can’t believe my eyes. I wish I could explain to you how CRAZY that is. When you have a 12 year old, promise you will come sit by me, so we talk about how weird it is, because you WON’T BELIEVE IT.
I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Before you, I was just a girl, like any other, but when you appeared, I became a mom. Your mom. Transformed.
I could thank you every day, and it would never be enough.
Today, you get a “thank you” *and* a “Happy Birthday”. I can’t imagine life, if you had never come my way.
November 20, 2009 by EDubya