Ok, so, I have no earthly idea how his didn’t come about sooner, but my family is now one person bigger! In June, I mentioned my aunt and uncle were expecting their second child. A younger sibling for Mason, another cousin for me. This little person, who joined our family on December 20th, is Brady. I am over-the-moon that he’s here, grateful that he’s healthy, and ecstatic that he’s ours to love. It’s wonderful, joyful news for everyone; for me, it’s also sorrowful. I wasn’t there. I’m still not there. It wasn’t until my mom said, “I’m going to the hospital to see them after work,” and I bitterly rejoined, “Lucky you,” that I fully cognized that it happened without me. I think I had a subconscious delusion that he wouldn’t come until I could be there, or that I’d catch a red-eye flight and arrive just in time. So I cried, both because I was happy for their new family of four, and because I so desperately wanted to be there but couldn’t. I love Mason quite literally beyond the terminus of my vocabulary. I loved him from the very moment I found out he existed: before I knew he was a he, before I knew his name, before I heard his voice, before I saw his blue eyes. When Mason was born, I held him swaddled in my arms in his newborn cap and receiving blanket, looked at him, and thought, “So, you’re the one I’ve loved all along.” That’s a moment that we will always have, and I will always cherish, even if he doesn’t remember it. On the 12th, I will fly into SFO. I know that on that day, I will hold Brady and fall just as in love with him as I am with Mason, but I can’t help but wish that my first time seeing his face and hearing his voice wasn’t in pictures and videos.
One thing B. and I learned from being in a long distance relationship for two and a half years: it’s hard to be the one who stays; it’s harder to be the one who goes. Today marks one year since I moved from California to Philadelphia, and each of those days has come with a choice: to stay or to go. Every day I reenlist, choosing to continue living the life I’ve made in Philadelphia with the man I love, and I know it’s the right choice, but that doesn’t make is less heartrending that I’m also the one who goes; the one who left California and the now two little boys I love.