I’m leaving tomorrow morning at dawn to fly to LA to (finally) meet you. You’re one month and seven days old. I’m … eight hundred sixty-eight months and three days old. In case we don’t find much that we have in common, we surely will find a few strong links to each other. One will be your father. Yes, that gentle, sweet, sure-footed, sure-handed, capable set of hands who protects, feeds, cuddles you, lets you curl up and sleep as long as you like on his shoulder while cradling your heat-emitting fetal form with his manly, steady hand. Your father is my son. You are his son. Yes … stepping stones of sons.
If you wonder why my wardrobe is so limited during my visit with you, it’s because my suitcase is filled with gifts; all for you. From your great aunt Nancy, your friends Kristina, Dan and Ivaylo in Paris, me, and others. (see photo below) There’s no space left for clothes.
I hope you like what’s been chosen. One of my gifts is a baseball – a real, major league hard ball. (see second photo)
The next morning, very early: The night passed. I hardly slept, being wide awake to the amazement of you, Micah. Yes you. I showered at 5, left at 6. After I’d locked my front door and elevator’d twelve floors down with my gift-laden luggage, I saw it was still nighttime. Snow had fallen, was falling. There were no cabs so I walked in the untrammeled, fresh snowfall. At 8th avenue, a cab silently stood, invited me into its leathery warmth.
Those boarding the Boeing 777-300 had on watch caps, scarfs, winter coats but … somehow – after landing in Los Angeles (six hours later plus two hours of waiting, getting de-iced, etc) – these same folks de-planed in shorts, tank tops, their naked arms revealing dramatic tattoos. How this happened is a mystery to me, as much of a mystery as how such a massive, metalic-plastic vehicle is able to fly up and through the sky. I never get used to it, especially at the instant when tires are no longer touching tarmac.
In the not to distant future I imagine you’ll see what I mean. We’ll see if you agree. Personally: I removed my wool hat while flying over Pittsburgh, my cashmere scarf over Ohio, the wool turtleneck sweater over New Mexico, was left with a seasonally appropriate light jacket and shirt on touchdown.
Two days later: The photos say it all. (see photos)
Post Script: Your mommy and daddy took you to your second appointment with your pediatrician in Santa Monica this afternoon. You’ve gained almost two pounds in two weeks; grown an inch. The doctor’s final evaluation:
In the Thriving Season
Now as she catches fistfuls of sun
riding down dust and air to her crib,
my first child in her first spring
stretches bare hands back to your darkness
and heals your silence, the vast hurt
of your deaf ear and mute tongue
with doves hatched in her young throat.
Now ghost-begotten infancies
are the marrow of trees and pools
and blue uprisings in the woods
spread revolution to the mind,
I can believe birth is fathered
by death, believe that she was quick
when you forgave pain and terror
and shook the fever from your blood.
Now is the thriving season of love
When the bud relents into flower,
your love turned absence has turned once more,
and if my comforts fall soft as rain
on her flutters, it is because
love grows by what it remembers of love.
- <> Lisel Mueller <>