When we (yes, I typed ‘we’) were first diagnosed almost ten years ago, my son was a baby. A real live 4 year old baby. A baby in many other people’s eyes too. I mean, c’mon, 4 year olds are still adorable, cute, funny, silly and well, babies.
I used to test his blood using his teeny, baby fingers. I would hold his little, yet chubby, hand in my hand. I would separate one tiny finger away from his chubby friends and I would make him bleed. I would poke a needle into my baby’s chubby finger, to make blood flow, to check his sugar. Check his sugar to see if it was too high, too low, or just right.
I remember thinking and even saying out loud to some of the more seasoned moms, “I will never be able to do this to a teenage boy hand.” I mean, c’mon, teenage boys are smelly, gangly, goofy, and sometimes even obnoxious. Never mind thinking where there hands have been. Teenage boy hands are in places that no mama wants to think about. Sorry for making you think about that.
But, alas, here we are. Here I am with a teenage boy. A 13 year old to be exact. And I can now tell you first hand, that teenage boys are indeed smelly, gangly, goofy and sometimes even obnoxious, but yet, he is still my baby boy. The world sees a 5′ 10″ pre-man, yet, for some reason I still see my 4 year old baby. I still see his chubby cheeks, his two missing front teeth and his teeny, yet chubby, baby hands.
I see his little chubby hand when I dig it out from under him while he sleeps. And in the wee hours of the morning, as I hold his now larger than my hand, if I take pause for a moment, I can still feel his tiny, baby fingers. The slight weight of his tiny hand in mine. How his little fingers curl in tiny fist as I try to separate one friend from the others. So much time has passed since our diagnosis, but in the dark, for those middle of the night checks, it’s just us. My baby and me. Tiny hands turned big. Broken heart turned strong. Little boy turned almost a man. Forever my baby. Forever my heart.
My baby and me.