Myles My Boy,
I need you to know I tried.
When you woke wrecked with fear, a twisting body fighting its way out of soft layers of cotton, a hungry belly and blurry eyes – I tried. I tried to be there, to wait it out beside you, to hold you close and whisper reassurance. I promise you, my love, I tried.
When your dad came home from work, wanting nothing more than sweet snuggles but was greeted instead by a weary wife and restless little, please know I tried. I tried to have it all together, I tried to honor his effort, I tried to be grateful for his support. I hope he knows I tried.
When I didn’t understand what it was that you needed or how it was that you were possibly ours, I tried. I tried to be patient. I tried to find grace. I tried to be humbled by the mystery of your presence and to live my way into the answers to all my questions I tried to be poised and patient despite my confusion and overwhelming sense of inadequacy. I tried.
When hunger was more than your little body could take and you needed nothing more than your mama’s milk – again and again and again – you have to know I tried. I tried to be strong, I tried to be stoic. I tried to hide the tears and frustration from your touch. I tried to offer my nourishment as much as I possibly could until the pain was too much to bear, and even then your father gave all that I had. Between feedings and despite blisters, I always tried.
When you were growing faster than my memory could capture, outgrowing clothes you hadn’t yet worn and filling out your frame before our very eyes, I tried. I tried to burn it all into memory. The weight of you against my body like a sack of flower. The limpness of your neck, the strength with which you held your head. The softness of your fingers curled around mine, the milky breath and glossy steel blue eyes. Your round nose and your father’s toes, your round belly and flailing limbs. I tried to remember it all. I tried.
When you were tired and frustrated and needed rest. When bouncing wasn’t enough and walking wouldn’t suffice, when you needed me to hold you for hours on end, rest assured I tried. I held you as close I as knew how. Wrapped you around me and breathed in the sweetness of your scent. I held you and rocked you and I wiped your tears and rocked some more. I tried.
When you were loved by no fewer than a few dozen people, all of whom wanted to know you despite the miles between us, I tried. I sent photos and wrote notes and did my best to let them in. Even when I wanted to hold you close and keep you to myself, when I wanted to hold up just the three of us for little while, I didn’t turn them away. I opened up, I let the world in to love on you, I tried to help them know you no matter how far. I tried.
When your soft grunts and discontented wails woke me in the night, when the darkness was broken only by your cry I tried. No matter the hour, no matter how lonely, we rocked together and I tried. When your diaper was dry and your belly was full and still you cried, I tried. I tried to soothe you, I tried to find grace, I tried like hell to ease your pain even when I couldn’t do anything but wait it out with you. My sweet little, I need you to know that I tried.
When the days were long and the weeks were short, when I wanted to wish away a phase and still keep you small. When I was torn between my desire to know your tomorrows and embrace your todays, you my love have to know how hard I tried. It wasn’t always easy, I wasn’t often graceful but I tried. I always tried.
For you I will always try,