I wrote this on Facebook tonight. What a blessing it is to forget.

Eleven years ago right now, I was drifting off on my very first overnight in a hospital, 22 hours later I would have a living child. 34 hours later we would chose for him: life or death with no guarantees of the former and plenty of opportunity for the latter. Eleven years ago, at this moment, on a Sunday night, I fell asleep on the precipice of the most precarious fall and meteoric bounce a mother could know.

In ten hours my son will wake up, eleven. He will begin a new year of his hard-earned life, and I will only pause for a breath, a blink, and remember the baby who became the boy that lived. My own magical miracle whose most extraordinary feature is how incredibly ordinary he is.

And I forgot his Fontanniversay, and I made it through most of April 12th forgetting that was the day he almost died, for the third time. I will barely remember tomorrow, as I buy my ticket for Muffins with Mom, and I browse the book fair, and I go about my business as an ordinary forty-year-old mom on her son’s eleventh birthday. I will barely remember being barely twenty-nine and gathering all the strength a mother can possess to bear the impossible risk for the ultimate reward.

This is my reward, forgetting, I will forget when I am done typing this. I will forget like a woman forgets her labor pains, I will forget the fight and let it rest like stones beneath the river, because we are eleven years and a lifetime beyond where we began. Because there were ten other birthdays that happened after, and there were smiles and laughs and joy, and there will be more, and I welcome it. So now I forget, not what I learned, but how much it hurt to learn it, and I will remember only the joy of his first cry and the smell of his soft skin, and I will celebrate my son’s birthday with none of my baggage and all of his joy.


  1. Thanks, Amanda for this beautiful post. The line about celebrating without your baggage and all of his joy really struck me. Such a wonderful place to be and heart moms certainly don’t take it for granted.

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