The meaning of my every day

A day without my son is like a day without air. How did I breathe before he entered the world?

Every night as his eyes flutter toward sleep I lift him in my arms and kiss his cheek, gently pressing my lips to his impossibly soft skin just long enough for him to shake free of me. Cast in the blue light of the mobile, I stand on my tiptoes to set him in his crib accompanied by my nearly whispered words, “I love you the most.”

It is important to me that he hears it every day of his life.

“Don’t worry, I love you, too,” I tell my husband Sean later, adding with a sly smile, “the second most.”

He is a good sport, feinting back a smile tinged with envy.

One night I ask him that question I asked my parents decades ago: Whom would he save if he had to choose? Me or Henry?

“I’m not going to answer that question,” Sean says.

“But you’d save Henry. I’d want you to save Henry. Right?”

“Probably. Yes. But I don’t want to talk about that.”

I can’t fathom how I came to a place in my life where I could summon a spirit large enough to love another person so much more than myself: namely, this brilliant, bespectacled man who loves to read biographies of dead presidents; kick ass at fantasy baseball while also respectfully seeking my opinion on his team’s moves and trades; and choose “sausage fireball” pizza as his treat to self on my nights out. Still more difficult to fathom that he gave me another life—a son—whom I could and do love even more.

Thank God for my husband. Thank God for parenthood. And for my amazing son, the meaning of my every day.

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