My Boy Turns Nine

IMG_2783The electric storm gathers in my body as I’m trying to settle into sleep. It’s been brewing all day, and no matter what tools for static-clearing I try – sitting in the creek, writing, dancing, resting – nothing brings calm. Something needs to emerge. Something needs release. But I don’t know what it is.

As I’m texting goodnight to my husband while he puts Everest to bed, I write: “My legs are restless. I’m in a weird state. Maybe it’s pre-Everest’s birthday. I don’t know.”

“Yes, lots to do for the party.”

“Yes, but it’s not that.” And then suddenly: “9 years ago I was about to go into labor.”

“Yes.”

“It was so awful but our greatest gift was on the way. And now he’s almost nine.” [You can read my labor story here and here and here.]

“Too fast.”

“Yes. He’s so big and tall and beautiful and sweet and fun and amazing and smart and creative. Just like his Daddy.”

“And his spirit shines through.”

“Tears falling on my iPhone.”

“: )”

“I miss him now. Coming in to say goodnight again before I try to sleep.”

I come into the bedroom, tears streaming down my cheeks, and wrap myself around my sweet child, his face pure from near-sleep, his golden hair tousled like a lion cub. “I love you infinity,” I whisper. “I love you infinity, too,” he replies.

When I return back to my bed, the storm clouds break and I cry great sobs of grief. My body remembers the bittersweet joy of anticipating my son’s birth, the pain of the estrangement with my mother wrapped up in my grandmother’s death, the thrill that my giant moonlike belly would finally push forth our baby, the sweet love between my husband and I and our final days as a twosome. Layers of grief that are only released when I allow myself to walk through a transition consciously.

“Why is this hard?” my anxiously engaged clients often ask me in the months before their wedding. “Why do others glide through this transition with joy while I’m struggling?” Because you’re highly sensitive. Because you feel change and the passage of time more acutely. Because you’re wired differently neurologically, which means that you’re more emotional and introspective. Just like my son. Just like me.

When I wake up, my body is tired but my soul is clear and my heart is open. I’m ready to celebrate my boy. I’m ready to usher him in to his next birthday. I’m ready to walk by his side, or perhaps a few steps behind today, as he crosses this threshold, walks the labyrinth, and enters a new stage.

8 comments to My Boy Turns Nine

  • stephanie

    Happy birthday, Everest! And happy nine years to you, Sheryl. 🙂

  • Cecilia

    That’s so beautifully expressed,I feel for you! And happy birthday! Hope you all had a lovely day.

  • Rae

    Sheryl: I hope you, your family, and your Leo baby had a wonderful birthday celebration. I loved this post as well as the article about the labyrinth. Thanks for letting us peer into the intimacy of your daily life.

  • Kiyomi

    Wow, what a beautiful post, Sheryl. I really loved this because I really felt that I could relate. It seems that there is so much transformation and grief through transitions and it’s so important to constantly embrace and accept this transition. I think many of us would think “Something is wrong with me” when we are going through such a transition. I also loved when you spoke about how your family would welcome transitions when you were younger- I think that’s so important. So beautiful and the love you have is so wonderful 🙂 such a blessing

  • Thank you, everyone. It’s a true joy to be able to share my more intimate experiences with such a lovely audience.

  • Angela

    Dear Sheryl,
    Happy birthday to your son Everest. I also had my birthday last Saturday 10th August.
    I had an amazing day with my fiancé and my family at our new home. It feels fantastic to live in such a great area and independently. I am very happy to say I am anxiety free..by sharing my thoughts I want to give everyone on this site hope. 🙂

  • Gwen

    wow sheryl, you brought quite a few tears to my own eyes just now, that was really beautiful, your son is georgous and what a great mother you are, I recently returned to work myself and although I had a very overbearing boss who decided I would be her best friend not a great situation for me, the amount of anxiety I felt was the worst i have ever been. It just really was such a big task to leave thomas and go to work in faith he would be okay.

    I read an article about anxiety and something that truly struck me was Anxiety arises from the belief that we have to control this imperfect world in order to be secure” this is so true.

    It also reinforced the idea that you do here, that anxiety holds a message, I wonder why its so painful to receive this message why i feel a tightness in my chest and an uneasiness i never felt before but then I never left my first son before,the pressure of everything piles up and your body is just telling you calm down. It is scary though as now I am having the residual effects of it and thinking will i be okay etc.

    The love we have for our children is just something immeasurable, its the reason we live once we have a child, its just amazing, I am trying to think more about that and less about how time changes things and how he will not be a baby forever etc, must start to practice meditation, your blogs definitely hit the spot thou, thanks.