Southhampton Beach, August 24, 9pm
Surf, sand, sunset, s’mores.
Thirteen years old. My teenager.
Everyone says it, and that’s because it’s true: Wasn’t it just yesterday?
That I lumbered through New York City in August, walking, eating, nesting, waiting for him. The labor that went almost too fast, like a train off the rails. The surprise of him: a real, live baby, a stranger, whose life depended on mine.
And then I didn’t get dressed for a couple days. Those days that run into night and back to daylight again. Nurse, rock, change, repeat.
Going out the first time felt momentous. Leaving behind wrinkled sheets smelling of milk and Dreft, time standing still, the sun felt blazing on my bare shoulders. I carried him into Riverside Park, trussed his dangling limbs, our shirts wet where he pressed into me. My stitches were still raw and sore.
Crossing the busy city street with my arms wrapped around him, taking my son into the bright world, I have never felt so brave.