you know, that roll of chubbiness around toddler wrists. A crease so deep I would check to make sure that he had not slipped on a rubber band.
Now those wrists lead to man hands. Between his hands and his feet he is the pup who has not grown into the size promised. The estimate from his two year old height records tops out at 6'2" to 6'3". That's a big deal when my first view of him was only 14" long.
Chess was a preemie. Born at 28 weeks he was the smallest human being I had ever seen, 2 lbs. 6 ozs. Until I looked at the isolette next to him and looked at a baby born at 26 weeks weighing only 1 lb. 13 ozs. She had been born to a 13 year old girl.
The high and low of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is boundless. I was there on a high. Meeting Chess' birthmother and him. Wondering if God really, I mean really, could I even believe it really, was going to bless us with a baby, a son, nine months after my first son had died. My head threatened to explode from all the jumbled thoughts, hopes and possibilities.
Today he turns 14. My heart still catches when I look at him and remember how once his skin was translucent. Now it boasts chin whiskers. How once my wedding ring could circle his ankle. Now I can't circle my fingers around his wrist. How once the biggest challenge of the day was getting him to suck, breathe and swallow--to keep life giving nourishment down without projectile vomiting. Now I need a small grocery store in my kitchen to keep him in food.
I would not have believed it 14 years ago. I relish how it is now.
I used to hug him to my heart. Now when I hug him, I hear his heart.
Happy Birthday, son of my heart.