The first time I saw my baby sleeping was on Highway 89 halfway between Lake Tahoe and Truckee. His head was slightly tipped back and he was breathing so quietly I had to strain to catch every breath. My view of him was from the front seat of my Jeep through the rearview mirror. Every sigh and sleep noise he made brought me tearful happiness.
It is important in life to take mental snapshots of moments such as these to assure that a perfect memory will be preserved forever. Sometimes I pull up this memory from my mind and smile as I remember and relive every detail.
He was bundled up for the freezing winter weather which had gone down several degrees as the winter afternoon carefully turned to dusk. Even in the warm car, I could still feel a chill.
My love for him was so immense at that instant, I drank in every part of him as I snuck glances in the mirror speeding through the snow-laden pines. A lack of cars on the highway gave me permission to maneuver the road while I admired the fine boy I had made. A perfect boy. I am certain if there was a way he could listen to my maternal gushing his grownup self would roll his eyes.
He looks as though he was conceived in a genetic tumbler. He has my nose and eyes and his face shape favors his father’s. I never tire of examining his feet, his hands, and wonder at the beauty of his being. His hands are a mirror image of my own. Never stopping my stare-fest, I examined him from every possible angle.
In the Jeep, a Led Zeppelin song played on the radio. Son, I thought, this will always be one of life’s great debates. Which is better—Led Zeppelin I or Led Zeppelin II?
If you are truly my clone you will love my humor and repartee. Of course, we will share a love of classic rock. And books. We will read books together. In coffee shops. Drinking coffee and reading. Deep sigh.
Soon we will be home in Reno and this perfect day will end. You will wake up and I will no longer be able to gaze on your peaceful, sleeping face. I have burned these moments into memories and stored them deep away, for days in the future when my thoughts turn to you.
The first time I saw my baby sleeping he was 26 years old.
On adoptee reunion: “The most powerful ties are the ones with the people who gave us birth…it hardly seems to matter how many years have passed.” —Anthony Brandt