There is a mommy-to-be
out there
rubbing her belly
stocking up on antacids
because she’s
eating for two (and maybe, sometimes, when no one’s looking, for three)

spends hours
researching the best carseat/stroller systems
daydreaming while doing the dishes
about walks in the parks
letting strangers take sneak peaks
at the most gorgeous baby ever to be born

Her husband
dutifully goes to work each day
socking away dollars and cents
daydreaming while driving towards the office
about teaching his son
to play catch
trying to keep his cool
as he maybe, sometimes, (okay, often)
brags to his co-workers
about his boy’s God-given natural talent

They welcome
their future
in the east wing of their local hospital
possibly the most perfect afternoon of their young adult lives
ten tiny toes
an even tinier nose
and the doctor assures them there is nothing wrong

they have no reason to doubt
what he says
and feel giddy through the exhaustion
that this is the first day
of the rest of their lives
sure that everything will
always fall into place
for this shiny brand new family of three

They have no way of knowing (and this is probably best anyway)
something stealth and silent
will sneak upon their joyful plans
and test their faith
and love
for each other
for God
(and yes)
even for this little person (I learned long ago that it’s okay to admit that)
wrapped like a burrito
tucked in between his
blissfully ignorant parents

Too soon
a new reality will set in
as milestones are ignored
and almost two years later
the camera still can’t catch his eye
and they realize they can no longer blame
the photographer

So they begin to blame themselves
(that is the natural order of things, after all)
and sometimes
they go to bed
without saying goodnight
to one another

They finger point
and use four letter words
until one hits rock bottom
and the only thing left to do
is make the kind of decision you never even considered
as you exchanged love-soaked vows
in front of
165 of your closest friends and family

He picks her up
through the kind of embrace that signals a fresh start
they make a new vow
for a future
they did not plan
are willing
to save

1 in 100
(or something like that)

that’s an awful lot
of dreams
being broken

beyond the east wings
of local hospitals


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3 Replies to “1 in 100 (Or Something Like That)”

  1. Wow. I didn't really get it until I read your bio, and now I understand. What an awesome piece. I'm just guessing but I bet you've had this written in your heart for a long time and you're just now putting it in writing. Excellent job!

  2. It's just hearbreaking, isn't it, to have something happen to your child that you have absolutely no control over. You are my hero (-:


  3. beautiful…love your style and these words just resonate with me. our oldest has SI dysfunction and our OT has often questioned if she's high functioning Asperger's, but she is thriving so we're opting out of adding one more label.

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