You Don’t Remember Me, But Happy Birthday…

You don’t remember me, but I have never forgotten you.

It’s two years since you came into my life. The first I knew was a photo, sent from your mother to my phone. And I knew you existed. It was three months before we finally met, but thanks to technology I felt I knew you already.

I’ll never forget waiting by the elevator, the one at the top of Las Ramblas on the left. I had bought and was wearing a yellow t-shirt for the occasion, something bright. I thought a bright colour might be good for babies. First I saw the top of your mother’s head as the glass elevator brought you both up, then your pram and eventually your little face – you were asleep.

You don’t remember me, but you have left footprints on my heart.

I wondered how I’d feel, I was in love with your mother, but how might one feel about a child with whom one shares no blood? People adopt all the time, there are step dads, mums, brothers and sisters. I had never given much thought to such relationships.

Over the next weeks and months as we became friends, you grew to become the most important thing in my life. Flesh, blood, genes, irrelevant. All that mattered was love. I remember feeling as nervous as a father when you started kindergarden, so proud when you could put your head under water at swimming class, worried when you were sick and happy when you ate the lunch I’d make you.

You don’t remember me, but we were friends.

I admit, I was not great, perhaps not natural father material. I would report to your mother how many times you had cried during the day, when she returned from work. And when that gradually and more often, became zero, I don’t recall feeling more proud of anything before, or since.

You were the only person I think ever to enjoy my guitar playing (though I appreciate as you would grow and develop a taste, that might not have lasted). When the guitar I had just bought for you fell off the wall and broke, and I could not afford another, I was devastated.

You don’t remember me, but I was your bath buddy.

Ahh bath time. Along with my playing guitar, you are also the only person ever to smile and try to sing along to my singing. How many times did we play and sing Octopus’s Garden? I will never forget the words.

My favourite photo of you is from the house we all too briefly shared. I am on the couch and you are sitting amidst all your coloured balls on the soft letters you had. I am holding a rabbit you loved, looking down at you. With your huge eyes and mouth wide open you look up at me, listening, learning, or maybe thinking; ‘who is this crazy person?’

And today you turn two. I think you are getting a bicycle. I would have loved to see your face. But I have not seen you for many months. And I miss you. It’s hard to accept that ones dreams end, that one is powerless to do anything – that following my heart, means encountering doors that are shut.

But I will always be grateful for every moment we shared. I am very fortunate that throughout our brief time together, I knew and really felt how lucky I was each and every single day; I realised it at the time.

You don’t remember me, but I love you.

Happy Birthday little astronaut… maybe you remember this:

~ by 2ndcupoftea on March 1, 2020.

5 Responses to “You Don’t Remember Me, But Happy Birthday…”

  1. Thomas, my heart is breaking for you. – Sue

  2. Beautifully written….you should build on this experience and write a book from the point of view of Fathers as your child grows. I have found memories of the Road Scholar trip you led to Brittany/Normandy. I still hope some day to introduce my daughter to you on a trip. Happy fatherhood journey. Reta

  3. Thomas
    What beautiful words and truly coming from your heart
    wish we could get together and share some good thoughts
    when are you in the UK next?
    Don and Carol

  4. So so sad to read this

  5. So sorry to know you are not together…I know this must be so difficult for you Thomas.

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