Today is the anniversary of the birth of my first child. A boy. Not just any boy. This boy was the first ever of my kin whose face I was permitted to see. My first blood. And no one could hide him from me or take this knowing away. I had looked forward to this moment with such anticipation all my life and the 43 weeks he waited to make his entrance was just a tad drawn out. But, he was so worth the wait. At 22”, 8 pounds and 10 ½ ounces, I’m glad he didn’t wait any longer.
At 6:18 that evening, my heart went from happily dwelling inside my body to living on the outside, in his tiny person, forevermore. Little Obie, named for my beloved grandfather, Obie Rambin, Ooma’s father. There was no one like him, ever. To name my son for him was the greatest tribute I could think to make to the man who’d raised me as his own daughter as well as for “little Obie,” as Papaw called him. I wanted to give my wee boy a leg up in the world with a name synonymous with "greatness," so that every time his name was said, the Universe would know.
That little boy instantly became the love of my life. I’d heard mothers say they’d fallen in love with their babies at first sight and now, I understood. He was everything a first-time mother could want in a baby. He was peaceful and placid and slept, well, like a baby. When we brought him home from the hospital, my mom was so excited she couldn’t hold him for shaking so. She kept saying his name, “Obie…Obie. Precious little baby.”❤️ And, Papaw, his namesake, was so proud.
We brought him home on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone was so excited about the first grandchild and wanted to hold him. As babies do, he began to fuss which prompted my mother-in-law to want to take over and quiet him. She, having birthed five children of her own and a legend in the mothering field. But, she couldn’t make him settle. Finally, I asked for my son and went into a quiet corner and began singing Edelweiss to him, a song I had been singing to him for as long as I'd known he was there. Instantly, he hushed and looked up at me. One of the family members was in close proximity and witnessed it. He said, “He knows that song! He recognizes it!” Don't think your babies aren't paying attention.
Obs and I became best pals. He went everywhere I went. He was always with me. Always. As he became old enough to ride shotgun, we’d jam out to all my favorite tunes. Two favorites from the time are Toto’s Rosanna and Africa. I can’t hear those songs without being transported to those days and there little Obie is, right beside me.
And, as we frequented the mall a lot, I’m sad to say, the first word he recognized the spelling for was “SALE” at Bloomingdales when he was about four. We were strolling around in one of their departments and Obie exclaimed, “Mommy, look! SALE!”
He was the best friend I'd ever had; my heart and soul. I couldn't believe how fortunate I was to have this funny and wise little guy for my very own. And, on the day after his 5th birthday, his little brother was born. Right from the moment we brought Kincaid home, Obie was indispensible. About three days later, sleep-deprived from round-the-clock feedings, I woke up in a panic because I hadn’t heard the baby fussing. As I was frantically getting up to go check on him, Obie opened my bedroom door and whispered, “Mommy, I’ve got the baby with me.” Stunned, I said, “You do? Where??” “In the den, on a pallet,” he said. I think I astral projected myself into that room because I don’t remember walking. Sure enough, Kincaid was bundled up in a cozy little nest with some of his accoutrements and all was more than well.
I’ll never forget that sight and how my heart felt like it would surely burst for all the love in it.
Obie is my idealist, lover of the classics, philosopher son, who sees the world as it ought to be and who opened my eyes to things I'd never realized before. Trustworthy with your deepest truths, you could trust him with State secrets and he'd never spill. I value his opinion and no one can make me laugh harder than he can. And there’s no one’s laughter I love hearing more than his. Imagine his glee at leaving this for me to find one morning after I'd taken them all to school and had come home to clean up. 😂
No child can ever know how much their parent loves them until they have one of their own and I know Obie has no idea just how much he means to me. Or, how wonderful he is. Having been gone since Ooma’s passing has been a two-edged sword. I’ve hardly had time to grieve her, that’s the good news, but I am missing my son so much. I am so sad to be so far from him on his birthday, to celebrate the day my life began, as well as his. The distance between us goes through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color. It’s a good thing blue is my favorite.💙
Obie, I want to wish you a happy birthday today and to say, in the words of Shel Silverstein, “…and she loved a little boy very, very much—even more than she loved herself.”
Happy birthday, Obie. I worship you.