"...the process of being a parent can be summed up like this: 'You've just been given something that would be most terrible to lose.'"
When Dylan was born, he didn't even cry. And not in a scary-he's-not-breathing way. He came out pink and breathing. Eyes open. Quiet and content as he could be. "Look at him look around," said the doctor. "He's seems to be saying 'Hello, World."
He's been like that since. His interest in the world is unquenchable. It's always been "Why?" and "How?" and "I think...". He's been working on projects since he could toddle around. Asking questions since he could talk. Trying to better and change things and turn his ideas into things "that could make the world better, Mama."
When I was a teenager and a young adult, I wasn't scared of anything. I never worried about going out in the dark. Rough neighborhoods and public transportation, being out late, never scared me. I KNEW I could stand up for myself, holler at someone being rude, slap a boy who got to close, drive a stick shift car to get away. It never occurred to me, like it did to some of my friends, that something bad could happen to us. "Seriously? No one is going to rob us." I'd say as I got on public transportation in Atlanta at one in the morning. And sure enough, no one did.
When I fell in love with a man who had a very dangerous job, I became practical about fear. I worried and fretted and was scared, but for what I considered legitimate reasons. I became more critical of people who were worried about being robbed just because it was dark out. They HAD NO REASON to worry about imaginary problems.
When I was pregnant the first time, I read all books and saw all sorts or warnings, and I heeded them. But it never crossed my mind that anything bad could happen. I was young, healthy, and my baby was going to be perfect.
And he was.
And then, this perfect baby was placed in my arms. And in that moment of my arms holding him, things changed.
As a mother, I worry about all sorts of things. I imagine what would happen if robbers busted into the house (I have a plan in my head for locking my children away why I fight them off). I see cars driving too fast, and the sun burning their skin. I have imagined all sorts of worst case scenarios. None of which have ever happened.
One day last year, while scrolling through Facebook, I was stopped by a repost. It was an article about a boy named Baylor, who wouldn't be going to baseball that season, and had been originally posted by his coach. He wouldn't be going because he has leukemia (one of the worst case scenarios that I have imagined). Since Dylan was starting his own baseball season it caught my eye and I read through it. And then I clicked on the link for his A Match for Bay page, a bit absently.
And then I was looking at a picture of a boy who looks just like my own boy.
Because you see, this little boy, like my own little boy, is both Asian and Caucasian. Making it very very hard to find a bone donor match for him. And it hit me in the face in the heart in my soul. All the worries, the imagining, the fears that I think of, were happening to this family.**
This family that looks just like mine.
Everyday, I thank God and the Universe that my beautiful children are healthy. I am so blessed that my husband and I are healthy and able to raise such beautiful little people. And I want them to always think that they can make the world better, even if it seems small. We regularly talk about helping others with common (and even not so common) courtesy, and about donating to causes that are helping others everyday in bigger ways. And always always dreaming and thinking up ways to make things better.
I encourage you to sign up, if you are comfortable with it, with the bone donor registry through
Be The Match (www.bethematch.org).
I will also be donating 30% of all profits from this baby bodysuit to them. Let's look at the World, and see how we can make it better.
** You can read up on the progress and the struggles that Baylor has made and faced here.