Monday, January 12, 2009

Hold tight- this really isn't all about me

Tuesday's Tribute
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

Altar-bound, hypnotized

Sweet freedom whispered in my ear

You're a butterfly

And butterflies are free to fly

Fly away, high away, bye bye




post signature

35 comments:

Jay @halftime lessons said...

Wow...WHAT a post.

Amazing stuff, Tena, and I am so happy for you. Must have been a very tough time, no question, but with a fantastic result. Your boy is beautiful...nice work.

I always love coming to see your wares...you NEVER disappoint.

Jay

Heinous said...

Excellent tribute! It's amazing how much children change you and make you want to be the utter best you can be for them.

Under the Influence said...

Another beautiful entry, Tena!

Paige said...

What a great tribute--very impressive!

Linda S said...

wow, Tena, that was a wonderful story. your son is such a special gift.

jill jill bo bill said...

Oh Tena, that was beautiful! I am so impressed with your strength. I think I love you more now. I never knew that could be possible.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

That was an amazing tribute to your son! Plus, I have to hand it to you for not calling his dad a sperm donor but an actual contributor to your beautiful boy.

Hope he has a wonderful birthday!

Brandy said...

What awesome post!! Happy Birthday to your son.

That damn expat said...

That was beautiful!

Deb said...

I love this post Tena! Thanks for giving us a look inside your heart! Happy birthday to your son.

Jill said...

Happy, Happy birthday!

So beautiful to see that everything worked out exactly how it should have.

Haven't been commenting in awhile... though I've definitely been keeping up.

Here's to a great 2009!

Deb said...

oh, little ms. tena.... you are an amazing writer. your soul, right there on the page, but contained enough not to be incoherent.

life is one big, weird, journey, is it not? thanks for contributing to mine.

and can i just say? what a handsome young man!

because I said so said...

that was a wonderfully written story Tena....Happy Birthday Gabriel! Sniff Sniff, what a good mommy!

Ronda's Rants said...

So beautiful..My children saved me...not from the same things but they healed me in a way I couldn't ever have imagined!
I love this post! Are you still in touch with "his biological" father?
He ia a very handsome young man!

Kim said...

Not sure how I landed up here today of all days.. but I am loving this post. I can relate to so much of the story..

Happy Birthday to your handsome young man..

Annie said...

Way to go,Mom!

The Frugal Angel-Guided Psychic said...

You made me cry! What a beautiful post and such a lovely letter (tribute) to your son and your life.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Blessings,
Kara

Kori said...

Very, very cool.

KatieZ said...

What a Tribute! Great job! I am so glad to see that all things worked out for the best for you and your handsome "man"! You have inspired me to look to myself to make me a better place.

Thanks so much for sharing!

bernthis said...

happy Birthday to your son. Thanks for the reminder that everything really does happen for a reason. I'm learning to find the silver lining although I've got a couple of things in my life going on which has me still looking

Michelle said...

Wow, another great birthday tribute to a teen!

C said...

That is beautiful! It's so true that we don't always get what we want, but what we need. I believe that whole heartedly. Happy (belated) birthday to your son!

~Christy
http://www.heavyonthecaffeine.com

Tony said...

Tena,

what an amazing post. You are a tribute to the inner strength of woman everywhere. I am so happy for your happiness and success. Looks like you have a real gentlemen there.

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

beautiful - awesome boy!

mommablogsalot said...

What a great post! So great in fact that I decided to award you for it today! Come and get your Honesty Award at my blog!

Soxy Deb said...

It's amazing that all the trials and tribulations we go through can bring us to THAT place. Where we love who we are and the children we have created. And all the things we went through to get there, hard as they were, were integral parts of the whole.
Good work Tena. He looks like a fine boy. And I'm sure your a great mom.
Happy Birthday Gabriel.

Amy Amy Bo Bamey said...

That is a well said AWESOME post! Your son is very good looking....you will have to pry the girls away!

That was a great tribute, I can only imagine the bond you have!

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

That is SUPER sweet...What one would view as a mistake, a problem you have embraced in the most loving way...

Happy day to your boy (and you for having him in your life)

Contest Chris said...

Great Post!

Susan in the Psych Ward said...

Wow!! What a beautiful tribute! You are such a strong person.. my parents would have had another plan.... no matter what I said or did.... Wow, is all I can say!

Momo Fali said...

You KNOW I appreciate a woman who has much love for her son (especially one who is a button-pusher...ahem).

Happy birthday to your boy!

ella said...

That was totally cool and great ending with the song.

Ann said...

You had to make me cry.
Man.
And here I was just laughing at all of the "would-be-singers" on American Idol!
Whew.
What an amazing post Tena.

Straight to Your Hart said...

Through the life of a child...what a blessing he has/is in your life. Happy Birthday to him!

bsouth said...

Well done. You are such a fantastic person. Lovely post.