There once was a princely babe born in the early afternoon hours of July. The day was Arizona hot with coyotes racing into shady caves. There, they lapped cool sandy water hidden near boulders under bats of black hanging sleepily.
The baby prince was beautifully big, with skin of olive and aquamarine eyes. Unusual eyes, the color of the sea with waves of speckled sand. When the infant wailed, he tossed his newborn head. Curly locks, damp and downy to the touch framed his face. They were silky soft, reminiscent of newborn ducklings paddling behind feathered mothers in ponds of blue.
As the calendar marched on, the prince grew to become wiser than his months and years, combined. Far beyond any of his peers, he made everyone laugh with smiles and giggles that lit up rooms without bulbs in lamps.
Shortly after moving to the Midwest, winter came followed by an early spring. Nature was curious that year. A toddler of only three, the prince napped in flannels, cuddling his favorite blankie tucked beneath his chin.
Within days and weeks the little prince grew up very, very fast. “Chronic Conditions” swept up his family’s innocence. While wee friends played on swings or bounced balls in blacktopped streets, the little prince handed bottles of insulin to his mama, helped to measure food on a tiny scale, or watch his bigger-little brother prick his finger, squeezing a sliver of blood on a tiny shred of paper.
Before long, the prince who had grown to a nearly big four, learned how to climb a step stool in order to reach the dark green phone on the wall. There, he was taught to push three very important numbers, 9-1-1. Early one morning, three men in white took his sleeping brother away on a small bed that grew taller on wheels. The bed with his brother on top went into the back of a truck with spinning red LOUD on the roof. The prince felt little again.
That same winter, the prince woke from his bed. “Mama, I cannot breathe,” he coughed and choked and said. Off to the hospital where the word a.s.t.h.m.a. was spelled out. Together with diabetes, they shared the same house.
Yes, the little prince was very, very smart. Quickly, he learned how to use separate inhalers for different reasons. He wasn’t afraid of the clear green mask that covered most of his face. After putting it away, his chest didn’t hurt nor was it tight. Now, he could breathe air out as well as breathe air in!
As the prince grew up to be a man, his life was good, his life was bad. He felt happy, he felt sad. He went to school to get his degree. He bought a house and started to see. A job, a career, what else was there for him to be? He did not know, he did not care. He only knew there had to be something more for him, you see. One thing was always true, his family loved him through and through. Still, something was missing on the path he chose. Perhaps he had taken the wrong fork in the road?
I suppose you have probably guessed the little prince above is, “My Youngest Son, My Biggest Boy,” http://wp.me/p41md8-X9 As parents, we are always here for him. We talk or listen, shut our mouths or offer suggestions. It’s hard to take a step back, watch him fall or feel his pain. Much easier to view his success, see him shoot for the stars while jumping for all the rest.
This past year, things seem to have come full circle for my youngest son. He’s picked himself up to tackle the world. There’s been a change in him. I’ve seen a new smile on his face with a light that shines from in to out. And, those eyes of his? The waves of aquamarine seas are rolling again where the speckles play with the sun.
Last evening while having dinner with a friend my cell phone rang. Not a call, but a text for me. Oh, let me see! Putting the spoon of silver down to wipe my mouth with cotton white, I lifted my phone to press a glowing screen. Bright letters on a mat of black.
Two simple words to last the whole of a lifetime. “I’m engaged!”
Congratulations to my youngest son together with his beautiful Bride-to-Be.
Let me be the first to say, “Welcome to our family!”