For you, on your 14th birthday, my first-born son, Cayden
It was my eldest son’s birthday on the 11th February. I was moved to write as I looked through some old photos and memories (thanks Facebook). The words and sentiment came to me as I felt and thought more and more about one moment that still sits with me today. We can debate all day - maybe it was because of mental illness symptoms, or something else. I experience depersonalization and dissociation symptoms often. A few months ago, Cayden gave me a hug. But when he came close and I felt him close, he felt unfamiliar.
He was suddenly a stranger and it disturbed me. If he was a stranger, then was I the estranged one?
I lost the familiarity or I became aware of what was no longer.
I was spooked but kept it to myself.
There were other things that happened, things he has said and it further sparked the writing of this poem.
Here it goes:
I noticed how slowly I couldn’t recognize you as you, anymore.
I noticed that there was another man Becoming,
in our home these days.
And that’s how it’s always been between us:
As you grow, so do I.
As I grow, so do you.
You’ve come to see how we’re all heroes
And how growing up means you wake up
Just to put on your jumper suit
And save yourself
Sometimes lighting a way
For every other hero on these streets.
I hope that Gratitude and Wonder grows old with you.
We love you.