When the BB's were little, I'd tuck them in bed with a story and a song. BB1 preferred the stories - the more books I'd read the better, though I rarely got suckered in to more than two. BB2 liked the songs, over and over again. When he was three we went almost the whole year singing "Away in a Manger" at bedtime.
After a while, we expanded our repertoire. Beyond "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," beyond lullabies and nursery rhymes. I made a booklet of the songs we loved, some from their favourite movies - "Baby Mine" from Dumbo and "You'll Be In My Heart" from Tarzan - and, somehow, some of my favourite love songs ended up in there as well. Of course, baby boys don't stay baby boys for long. They start reading for themselves. And then they say, as nicely as they can, you don't have to sing to me anymore, and you try not to take it personally. They do have to grow up.
But this song, "Your Song," has remained my song for BB2. When he was in the hospital, I couldn't listen to it. I couldn't hear 'how wonderful life is while you're in the world' when he didn't want to be here. Eventually he got out of the hospital, and promised me he'd never go back. It was his birthday. Or perhaps the day before.
And today is his birthday, two years later. It hasn't been any easy two years for any of us, but most of all for him. He has had some substantial growing pains, some set-backs, and some amazing successes. He's stronger, a little leaner, sometimes guarded, but moving forward. We're all a little more honest than we used to be. It's become essential. And also, I think a little more compassionate, if sometimes a little exhausted.
I can't give BB2 a big house. But I can remind him, over and over, that sometimes I forget, and I get frustrated, and what I really mean is I'm so very glad he's in the world.
PS - his eyes are blue. The most incredible blue.