Thirteen

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Southhampton Beach, August 24, 9pm

Surf, sand, sunset, s’mores.

Thirteen years old. My teenager.

Everyone says it, and that’s because it’s true: Wasn’t it just yesterday?

That I lumbered through New York City in August, walking, eating, nesting, waiting for him. The labor that went almost too fast, like a train off the rails. The surprise of him: a real, live baby, a stranger, whose life depended on mine.

And then I didn’t get dressed for a couple days. Those days that run into night and back to daylight again. Nurse, rock, change, repeat.

Going out the first time felt momentous. Leaving behind wrinkled sheets smelling of milk and Dreft, time standing still, the sun felt blazing on my bare shoulders. I carried him into Riverside Park, trussed his dangling limbs, our shirts wet where he pressed into me. My stitches were still raw and sore.

Crossing the busy city street with my arms wrapped around him, taking my son into the bright world, I have never felt so brave.

7 thoughts on “Thirteen

  1. Stunning! achingly well written….one of my few memories from Will’s early days is when you walked with us across those big city streets to the photo store…I felt your bravery then as I do now. Bravery is the word for mothering, isn’t it? love love love C

  2. I’m swooning and teary for how you made me feel remembering those early days. Baby Thomas, JP and you as first time parents so filled with love and fatigue, your apartment, the Upper West Side, Riverside Park……

    XO

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