Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.
I was 23 years old. I didn't have much direction. I was aimlessly beginning my fifth year of college (did I mention no direction?) I was selfishly experimental in all things- finances, drugs, booze, men, and sex. I was looking for that niche, that place where I felt safe and that I fit in. What was I supposed to do with my life?
I was head over heels in love with my best friend in the college town that I just moved away from. We worked together. We were inseparable for the 2 years we knew each other- purely platonic. I helped him through his breakups and he wiped my tears from mine. We were the first person each turned to for anything. He was someone I felt safe with.
After relocating, my heart did grow fonder and I realized that I wanted more than just a best friend. In early spring, he made a trip to where I was for a weekend visit. That weekend we lived it up! I felt like we were one again! We consummated our relationship that weekend- it was magical! Everything that I had built up in my mind had not been a let down! We briefly imagined a future together that weekend and he expressed to me the same feelings that I held for him. It was like a dream and they can be fleeting.
A few short weeks later, I discovered I was pregnant. Scared shitless, I called him and told him. We were still somewhat undefined in where we were going, if anywhere. At that time, in my confusion and desperation, I would have loved for him to embrace me and our unborn child and live happily ever after, but I was not about to corner him with an ultimatum, as I tried to 'play it cool'.
After months of torturous, wishy-washy, non-committal action from him, my love and dreams of a fairy tale ending had wavered. The reality of growing up had proven more than he was up for and I was able to see the luck in noticing it sooner rather than later. I was tired of the games, his inability to grow up, and had more important things to focus on. My son. I finally had the direction I had been looking for in my life. Not the fairy tale ending, not the perfect life, not the life without struggle, but a healthy beginning to a new one that we would figure out together, my son and I.
14 years ago today, my son, Gabriel Reed, entered this world and saved my life. He will never know all of the lessons he has taught me. How he saved me from a life of danger and misguided unhappiness. It was because of him that I found my nurturing and resilient self.
He tests me everyday and knows how to push my buttons, but he is mine and we are a head- strong lot. Sorry, bud, but you're my son and you're just like me! Maybe someday you'll appreciate me like I appreciate you! Happy Birthday. I love you!
And to his biological father, thank you, too. He is a gem and a light that I wouldn't have known were it not for you. You and I would not have been good together, our paths were both self- destructive and we each had our own appetite for disaster. Our fork in the road worked out for both of us and time has just made me more grateful for the pieces falling into place.
Someone saved my life tonight, sugar bear
You almost had your hooks in me, didn't you dear?
You nearly had me roped and tied
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You're a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye