My husband made me cry last week. The kind of crying that makes your lip quiver and your heart hurt. The kind of crying that leaves you shaken.
In a totally good way.
We were enjoying a Pearl Jam concert when we heard the first few notes of the song, “Given to Fly”. I threw my fist into the air, as any good rocker would, and I smiled because it’s one of my favorites. Then my husband leaned into my back, laid his hands on my shoulders and put his mouth next to my ear before saying, “This song reminds me of our son.”
The tears were immediate.
See, if you haven’t known my boy from the day he was born, you don’t know how far he has come. People who meet him now don’t know that he barely made it through his first year. People who meet him now don’t know what a fighter he truly is.
They don’t know that when he makes me laugh, it is a hearty laugh because I never knew if I would hear him speak. Or, when he completes his math homework that I want to burst with pride because I didn’t know if he would ever be able to hold a pencil, let alone comprehend the problems.
They can’t look inside his chest and see his mangled heart or his stomach which often can’t hold its contents. They can’t look into his eyes and know that he could rarely open his right eye until it was repaired surgically. They see a little kid, but I see an amazing human being who is living proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
Delivered him wings, “Hey, look at me now”
Arms wide open with the sea as his floor
Oh, power, oh
He floated back down ’cause he wanted to share
His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere
But first he was stripped and then he was stabbed
…well…he still stands
And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being that was given to fly
Today my son turns eight years old. Happy birthday, child. Fly high.