Happy Birthday, V

Today is the birth day of my beloved and only child. Although I was remembering past loves this morning, I did not think of his father. Of all the drama, all the passion, all the men, it was his father that I loved. Or, what I thought was love. After all, I was only 22 years old when we met. He called himself “Jungle Boy” (presumably because he came from Africa) and I was not impressed. When that switched I don’t quite remember but I know I fell deeply deeply for him.

Skipping over all the drama of that time, I remember him saying as he went through the gates toward his plane that he was boarding for Kenya, “Don’t you give my son no candies.” It was the last time we talked. (He later sent a post card saying they had lost his luggage but that doesn’t count). I spent years waiting, years yearning, years thinking he would send for us. He never did.

Skip over more time and my son and I grew close. It was just us. Being a single mom was hard but at first it didn’t seem so bad. Later I had help during a relationship time where we shared co-parenting duties for a few years but mostly it was just he and I. I made the best choices I could at the time and tried to keep him safe and instill the values I thought were important. He grew into a handsome, smart, active young man and I was grateful to the gods for my good fortune.  I had finally come to believe that it was a good thing that his father had no part in raising him. If he had, my son might have been a very different person. I am grateful for the man he turned out to be.

Along the way of adulthood, he made some not-so-good choices. Suffice to say I hope they have been good learning opportunities for him, and that he will learn to make better ones in the future. But having spent some closeup time with him these last few years, he is still that sensitive, deeply feeling son I raised–a little rougher for wear–but basically the same. I am grateful that he is here, safe, healthy and that I have had this time with him. He has always been my heart, my sunshine.

A reader told me once: “if you should get pregnant, do not attempt to have an abortion, for this will be a child of Yemaya, and she will not forgive you for this if you do. He will bring you much joy.” Years later a babalawo confirmed my son’s Orisha to be Yemaya. He has brought me great joy. The Universe has blessed me and I am grateful.

Happy birthday, son!

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, V

  1. It was in the summer of 1989 that I moved to Iowa City and met an incredible woman named Egyirba, actually I met her earlier in Minneapolis on a book tour. In truth, I met her first through her book Tight Spaces where her stories mesmerized me. I was taken by the stories about her son and his entrance into her world. Vidinyu Ambani, wow, I thought, that is the name of a king. Who would know that years later I would meet this dynamic, amazing, intelligent, intense, emotional, beautiful boy who was turning 11. He was small for his age and he knew it and made up for it with personailty. He was opinionated and demanding, he knew what he wanted and he got it. He became my son despite his insistence that “I WAS NOT HIS MOTHER” and I was certainly not his father, but I was his co-parent, more of a big sister really until after a few years he and his mother moved and he asked me at the age of 16 if I would be his Godmother. It was the first hint to me that I was more than an annoyance to him and that my firm hand and my lectures and my boundary-setting had been translated into love, for I did so love this boy. He was so much like me and so much like nobody I had ever met. It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since we met and oh the things that have transpired in those 20 years. He is a grown man. He became the philosopher we always knew he would be, he studies human nature, he lives off the grid, he soaks in experiences and studies spiritual endeavors. He has been fascinated by astral-projection since he was a child and meditates daily. He is unlike any man you will ever meet and he is completely and totally devoted to his mother as she is to him. They are my family. Even as we live on separate coasts they are the first people to show me unconditional love in my life. I didn’t know the concept. Vidinyu has turned 31 and who knows where his life will go. He will meet his father. All of his stored experiences will be shared with the world. He is an incredible musician and poet. And I do think he knows it, but his music is for him right now. His world is a quiet, ordered world where very few tread. And he is my sweet Godson, now a beautiful man, a different kind of being, he is watching, like a cat in the darkness, seeing things the rest of us don’t see. And in time, he will tell us all that he has learned. And I will listen, we all will listen, for it is a wise man to wait out his demons and let the dust setlle before entering back into the world, thoughtfully and with kindness. Happy Birthday my dear Godson. I love you so much.


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