Friday, March 20, 2009

To Louie and Ace: Secrets and Mysteries

"A wonderful fact to reflect on, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other." - Charles Dickens
Dear Louie and Ace, 

I write this letter to you today as a testament to how I feel about you.  The challenges and beauty; the triumphs and failures.  Our life.  As it is.  Today, April 15, 2009.

Recently, I painted a door black.  Plain, flat and pure black.  To my surprise, the color black is full of secrets and mysteries. Black isn't black.  It's not like white; white stays white.  But black, in paint form, moves and morphs into brilliant colors:  green, turquoise, blue, yellow, red. When applying it, it appears blue and then green and then suddenly it becomes the darkest of all colors, the color that can have a bad reputation.  The bad guys always wears black.  How very secretive and mysterious black is.  How very intriguing black is at it holds, quietly and silently, the things of which it is made.

Louie and Ace, I am proud to be your mother.  But I know you are not mine.  I've heard it said, children do not belong to you, they are only passing through.  How thankful I am that you're here with me, if only passing through.  I realize that slowly you will stop wanting "up, up, up" into my arms.  You already walk a step ahead.  I will no longer be your favorite person to be with.  And you will become mysterious men with secrets and thoughts I will never know.  

Oh Ace, you and your pairs of 22 autosomes. Your total of 46 chromosomes laced with the appropriate genes hanging like luminous Christmas lights stringing your internal make-up. But still, I find you are equally as mysterious as your brother with chromosomal structural differences. 

Ace, I don't understand why you change suddenly from a quiet artist, working quietly, introspective with markers and paper to a berserk marker-armed maniac out for attack...angrily biting off the marker heads and spitting them brazenly onto the floor. Oh yeah and by the way, just wondering why you put my bras around your neck. 

You received all chromosomes promised to most. You are my second first child. This typical development is new to me.  Ordinary to many; astonishing to me.  The details you see and mimic. The way you learn from your environment.  The way your fingers operate and manipulate objects.  Your attention to detail. Your memory. I am awed at human development in all it's perfection and natural progression. 

Louie, your attachment, well, that's putting it mildly, your lie-on-the-floor-and- scream-and-cry-episodes as I try to prepare your dinner until finally you are given the coveted Annie's Homegrown brand Mac-n-Cheese box. And now you've decided that's not enough.  You also want the powder cheese package that comes in the box as well.  It's because of the bunnies. There are lots of matching bunnies on the packaging of any of Annie's foods. And there are a million bunnies on the cheese packet. Which means the same goes for the Annie's bunny cracker boxes too.  Anything that's your new love, replacing street signs of olden days.  Matching bunnies.  How peculiar and cute.  

Louie, you are so interesting to me.  Your fascinations, your love of music and bunnies on cardboard food boxes.  Your love for cuddling and kissing.  Your passion for kites and balloons. Your uncanny ability to match objects and words.  The way you sneak away to tear books (much to my dismay); after all, books are your most beloved of all items.  I know you only do it because it's too much to resist.  That paper, the way it feels, sounds and looks when it tears.  A visual stem of paramount proportions.

I know I've written about this before but I am constantly impressed and amazed at this science experiment happening in my own home, before my eyes each day.  The sharp and piercing contrast between the two of you all because Louie is missing a few genes having to do with elastin.  

And because of you both, I am a Mom Scientist in my own right.  A mom who sees genetics at play everyday.  I am also a Mom Child Development Specialist.  I know more about child development than I ever thought possible.

As Parental Pseudo Scientist and Child Development Specialist, I always want to ask the question:  Are you two really more alike than you are different? Yes, you both have arms and legs and heads.  But it's difficult for me to see similarities beyond your physical features. Once someone asked me if you had the same father. Seriously? (BTW, yes, you do).  But even I can't recognize your homogeneity.
Louie, it's not fair you got shorted a couple of genes on chromosome 7. Lucky number 7; not so lucky.

And Ace, it's not fair that you will experience the inevitable embarrassment and questions that will come as you get older. The world simply isn't fair.  But as they say, who ever said life would be fair?  

My hope for our family is that we reflect on this life thing, and realize that for the most part it's pretty good.  Good things happen. This mysterious life, this secretive world, lovely, beyond words; as lovely as anything you could ever imagine.  Sometimes our lives do feel black.  But if we can remember what lies beneath that darkness, maybe we can lift ourselves up and back out into the world.  

How I marvel at you boys as you grow. How you both mystify and madden me.  I pray your secrets and mysteries will hold you and shine upon the world, beaming your gifts and magnetism to anyone and everyone who crosses your path.  The fortunate people crossing your path.  

P.S.  Not sure why that one paragraph is bigger than all the others.  I made the mistake of messing with the HTML.