I’m officially a mommy, and my heart is elated. Baby Keaton was born in early March, and he is, and always will be, our greatest joy, accomplishment, and adventure. We’re deeply and wholly in love with our sweet baby boy — a sacrificial and wholesome love we never knew before.
He’s grown much since his birth, and it’s heartwarming to learn the maps of his heart, mind, and soul on a daily basis. I have mommy guilts already — I’m learning to be more compassionate with myself as a new mother — but something I’ll never regret, is not having been present enough with him. I can say that so far, I’m proud of myself for being relentlessly present with him with each passing breath he takes.
I love him so dearly, so tenderly, so compassionately that my heart could explode. I love that his personality is shining through evermore each day; I love the way his toe beans curl around my finger; I love the way he throws his arms up with glee as we change his diaper; I love that his hair’s growing fuller and into a light ash brown shade, that I myself have always dreamt of; I love pondering if he looks more like me or his daddy; I love the sense of safety and exuberant joy he feels when we place him between us in bed and attack him with kisses.
I love him to the moon and back, and beyond.
2020 has been bittersweet. The arrival of our son was the climatic point in our lives, both individually and as a cohesive unit. Yet what was intended to be a celebratory time, became a trying moment. Therein lived an inescapable lesson in life: there was no light without dark, and no dark without light. Both were inextricably linked — the yin and yang of the cosmic law, and the Romeo and Juliet of our human existence. This was the dance where tragedy and romance fell in love and became forever intwined.
Shortly after the birth of our boy — the happiest time of our lives — the coronavirus pandemic began, my grandmother passed away, and we cancelled our wedding. It felt as though the universe was mocking us, and laughing at the naiveté of our all-encompassing joy. An all-time high was followed by an all-time low. Life was no longer the same, and sometimes I found myself shaking my head as if to try to wake myself up from a dream.
Hopes to take our newborn to a farmer’s market on a warm spring day to pick up fresh flowers to adorn our home, felt light years away. Instead, we were now watching the trees and birds and bees from the confines of our windows. Grieving my grandmother’s passing also became an individual experience within the confines of our walls, when what we needed was to be with family, and to hold and be held. Everything felt impossibly surreal. Possibilities felt so close yet painstakingly far — a dream within a dream.
Yesterday was our scheduled wedding day. Reminiscent, I looked at our wedding decorations and fairy lights, and there they were, nestled in the closet — coated with memories of the past. Soon after, it was 4 PM and I turned to Bruno and said, “It would’ve been the time of our ceremony, when we got married.” He began tearing up and I felt my heart twist and churn. Yet we knew that the only sane thing to do during an insane crossroads of our lives, was to simply be. To simply be present with each other — with what still is. We had our love and our strength to celebrate, and best of all, Keaton.
All was as it should be. Timing was always right in the grand scheme of life. Baby Keaton was proof — a small and cute one at that — of the synchronicity of events. He arrived at an uncertain moment in all our lives, and for good reason: he was needed. He was the uplifting joy to his grandparents’ day, and the smile that made life a little more bearable in the midst of unpredictability and darkness. He was the bearer of love and light, of strength and courage, of will and resilience.
In the end, we had our son. He was the emblem that married us, that tied us together evermore intimately and sweetly. No, life is never as it should be. We never had the chance to introduce my grandmother to her great-grandchild for the first and last time, nor have we had the chance to show him the world, nor did we ever get to walk down the aisle together hand-in-hand. But then again, yes, life is always as it should be. And every day, I thank the moon and the stars for our son, for he’s the greatest blessing in our lives.