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!