Early Morning Anchor

You’re tall enough for me to lean on as the morning light slips through the living room window. We are sitting now, but it won’t be long before we can stand shoulder to shoulder too. I think about the day we brought you home, over eleven years ago. You were so small and fragile that I couldn’t imagine you standing, much less holding up my sleepy head with your shoulder.

Someone once asked me if you were a burden. My immediate answer was no. But if I had it to answer again, I would say yes. You are a burden to me, in the same way I am a burden to you. We can’t help but burden those we love. Loving weighs heavy on our hearts. We carry it gratefully. Once we begin the loving, it is something we can’t live without, no matter how heavy it becomes.

Even as we carry that weight, our other burdens are eased. When the world is too much, I crawl into your bed, my eyes wet with tears. Your mind can’t grasp the worries of a grown up world, but you instinctively put your arm around my neck and bring me back to what matters. You are warmth and laughter and unconditional love. In those times you bear my burdens lovingly. You are less weight, more anchor.

To most, you seem like a lot to handle. To those who truly know me, I am the same. I hope my burdens are never too heavy for you. My strength will bear yours always.

When you were born, I knew I would have to be strong for you. I didn’t realize you would be strong for me too. That you would inch ever closer to manhood. That your shoulder would one day bear the weight of my tired head and weary mind.

The sun is higher in the sky now. Your brother and sister will be up soon. The chaos will begin. The burdens will be heavy. Mine and all of yours. But we will carry them gratefully. We will bear them willingly. We will ease them lovingly. And when they become too much, there will always be strong shoulders on which to lay our sleepy heads. To each other, we will always be less weight, more anchor.

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