To My Son, Who Has Lyme Disease Like His Mommy

Dear little one,

You inherited Mommy’s long eyelashes; I lay here admiring the sun dancing through them as your eyes flutter underneath to whatever magical world you are living in in your dreams. The freckles that sprinkle your nose come from Daddy. I hope you get his patience and understanding.

My little one, I am sorry. Your Mommy brought you into a world that was meant to be filled with everything your heart could imagine. I was supposed to be your Super-Mom. I did not know that what lay ahead was a mommy who was barely there. A mommy who yelled too much, slept too much, cried too much.

Everyone comments on your beautiful red hair. That comes from Daddy. People don’t hear you cry out at night when your legs hurt so bad you cannot sleep. That comes from Mommy, because we share the same illness: Lyme disease. If I could take all of your pain away my little one, I would in a heartbeat. The pain of my own illness pales in comparison to the pain of knowing I passed this to you.

My little one, days meant to be full of finger-painting and catching bubbles are now spent in waiting rooms. Playdates have been replaced by specialists. I should be the one kissing your scraped knees and singing you lullabies, but far too many times you sit by my side, stroking my hair and telling me, “It will be OK, Mommy,” as I can no longer hold back my tears.

My little one. My brave one. My strong one. This fight is no longer my own. I may never get to be the mommy I had hoped to be. I may never play soccer in the backyard or be the PTA president. But I promise I will fight this disease. And I promise I will one day be your Super-Mom.

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Thinkstock photo via Choreograph.

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