Another year has passed, and now there’s only one more year to go. Nights like last night make the waiting seem unbearable, but by the end of the evening, I’d calmed down enough to not do anything rash.
Even now, though, I want to do something rash. I want to hop on a plane and show up unannounced at a friend’s house for a place to crash, and then visit you right when you get home from school… or maybe take you out to dinner… or just sit and talk with your mother.
My dreams last night were all about running off half-cocked, chickening out at the last minute, deciding my first course of action was correct, and trying to reclaim my luggage from a flight that I’d abandoned and wasn’t supposed to be on in the first place. The bit about the motorcycle with the milk-crate sidecar was kind of interesting… but talking your grandmother out of going along on my journey to see you was difficult.
Here’s the thing: I love you, sight unseen. I’m curious about you, and I adore you. I’ve only gotten brief and exceedingly narrow glimpses into your life – some singing credits, some academic things – but for the most part, I know only what your mother has said briefly, and while I wish I could say that I’m willing to accept it all at face value, I really can’t. I want to, and I’ll play along with the idea, but the truth of the matter isn’t going to come out until we’re sitting down, face to face, having a nice cup of tea, talking.
I don’t judge people, and I certainly won’t judge you. I don’t have an expectation of who you are or what you’re supposed to be – I really just don’t think that way. There are a lot of things that only I can answer for you, family traits you’ve inherited, strange dreams we all share, physical elements you’ll have to deal with, but outside of that, I just want to know what you’ve been through, what you’ve experienced.
I am not fearful of having missed the first eighteen years of your life. We meet people every day, and our experience with them starts at that moment, and there is no need to regret that we were not there when they were three years old or ten years old. Time unfolds exactly as it’s intended, and there’s no point in wallowing in should-haves or wishes. As we say, “If wishes were horses, we’d all eat steak.” Rather, I’m looking forward to seeing who you are as you grow into an adult, watching you make mistakes – which we all do – and maybe being able to help you with them.
The relationship I might offer you would be more like an auntie that you’ve only just now met rather than a mother. I did not change your diapers – though I’ve changed my fair share – and I didn’t nurse you through illness as a child. I only gestated you and carried you in my body, and that only means exactly what it means – that I was your conduit to life. What you do with it after that is up to you.
My anxious moments only come from not knowing, from being kept in the dark. I was supposed to get pictures of you when I was ready, and to receive regular updates from your parents. I only got a scant handful of letters and no pictures. My attempts to contact you, to open the lines of communication, were met with a vehement refusal to have anything to do with me. Perhaps that might have been your statement, but I cannot take that as fact unless I hear it from you.
If you’re angry with me, I have a right to know. If you’re not, I have a right to know that, too. If you’re afraid, I can fix that. Regardless of where you are right now, because I am the other side of this equation, it is important (for both of us) to share that with me.
I won’t keep this going too much longer because I’ll just end up repeating the same thing in different ways. Your birthday cake last night was a gluten-free chocolate cake with dried cranberries and an orange marmalade glaze, and for dinner, we had ratatouille. I also enjoyed a nice merlot, though I think I should be a little chill on it next time before drinking it.
I don’t miss you for what has not been experienced – I am impatient for what has yet to happen. You’ve had seventeen years with your family, and having them as your family will last for the rest of your life, but soon, I will have the chance to experience you as well for the rest of our life, and I look forward to that.
As always, with unconditional love,