We went to Church today to celebrate the beginning of the Season of Lent and get our Ashes. We do this every year, but you wouldn’t know that. Our son was so proud of himself as he received his ashes and communion, excitedly proclaiming, “Now that I’ve made my First Communion I can go up and receive communion with you, Mama!” But you missed his First Communion, too. You weren’t there to see him march down the aisle of our Church, bubbling with excitement surrounded by his peers, and looking as handsome as ever. You didn’t witness him receive the Holy Sacrament of First Communion and look on, tears welling up in your eyes as images of his Christening and early years flooded both your heart and mind. I did, though. I was there. I’m always there for him, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This past winter our always full of energy and adventurous little boy sprained his ankle. He believed the recent snowfall would break his fall, so our little daredevil decided to jump off of our back deck. I spent the morning with him at an Urgent Care Center and the emergency room where I talked him through his very first x-ray. Of course you don’t know any of this. How could you? You haven’t so much as called him in two years.
Just last night he participated in his school’s elective Science Fair. He was so excited to work with his classmate and friend, that he insisted we show up for the fair two hours early. The boys did a wonderful job, and the project was a big hit with the crowd. You missed that, too.
So much has changed since you last saw or spoke to him. He’s an excellent student and excels in reading. He loves to cook and has decided he wants to attend Harvard University where he will study Sports Medicine in the hopes of becoming an NFL team physician. He loves sushi, soccer, golf, sailing, The Patriots, and The Red Sox. He’s grown from the happy, chubby baby you once knew into an incredibly intelligent, compassionate, and funny little boy, and you’ve missed it all.
He hates onions (at least he thinks he does, I often sneak them into sauces and he never notices). He’s lactose intolerant and allergic to the flu vaccine, but again, you wouldn’t know any of this.
Every once in a while he’ll ask about you, though he now refers to you by your first name. I always answer honestly, telling him that at one time you and I were very much in love. I assure him that though you’ve chosen to ignore his very existence, he was wanted and is so very loved. When he asks why you don’t call I suggest to him that you’re just not ready to be a dad. On milestone occasions when your absence is painfully evident, I take the time to ensure my beautiful, innocent little boy understands that he has no fault in this situation. You are the one who’s missing out. The loss is yours, and yours alone.
He’ll be nine in just about eight weeks, I hope you remember this. It’s hard for me to imagine that you do though being that you’ve missed countless birthdays, holidays, and firsts. As a matter of fact, you continue to miss it all.