I’m not a very sappy person in general. I rarely cry where people can see me. I cringe at any attempt to manufacture emotion. I hate most Christmas music because it’s almost always done by cheap hacks. I’m ambivalent about adult Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day; it seems so forced. (kids’ Valentines Day usually has lots of sugar, construction paper and paste, which is fabulous!) But true, honest, raw emotion will crumble the wall of my defenses every time. In a plastic, fantastic world, I’m undone by that which is real.
The most honest love story I know is the story of Monkey Boy’s birth mother. She placed him with our family July 5, 2006. She walked into the room carrying the baby she’d dressed just for that day and placed him in my arms. I cried like I never have. Baby Daddy wept with me. It was joy and pain and hope and grief all in one overwhelming moment. All I could say to her is, “I promise you… I promise you…” over and over.
Somehow I knew I wouldn’t be able to say the things I needed to in that moment. I wrote her a letter. Turns out we had the same notion; she wrote letters to Monkey Boy for when he’s older. In my letter I enclosed a poem.
i carry your heart with me
e e cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)