August 5, 1996
Once I had a vision, one of those awake dreams, so vivid I could touch it. There was a white room, almost like the inside of a sun effused cloud but solid as the grass in CS Lewis’ description of Heaven in The Great Divorce. As I stood there waiting, a little fella marched up to me, straight as an arrow like he had something to say. He must have been about three, maybe four years old. His thick little boy hair framed his cherub face, and his clothes were soft and baggy. He came and stood in front of me, and looked up at me like I was his. He paused, and then smiled with the biggest grin you ever saw, a wide smile that said it all. And then I knew that he was mine.
Two years later my son Will was born. He was three or four years old when I remembered the vision. It was a sunny day, perfect as can be, and we were walking out to the bird-feeder when I paused on a stepping stone. He stopped beside me and looked up and grinned. I smiled back, well, really the happy spilled out in laughter, and I said, “You wanna dance?” Without a word he just started moving, and so I danced, too, and those stepping stones became our stage. That was the moment I remembered, and I knew again, as I have always known, that he is a gift from God.
Today he is 21. His birth time will be tonight at 10:03pm. August 5th. Five is the number of grace, if you notice that sort of thing. His Dad and I are still as proud as the day he was born. Will lives up to his royal name. He is a lion who roars with conviction, and has a fearlessly undivided heart. There was a day 20 years and 8 months ago, when Joe and I were walking a Radner trail, and a million butterflies landed on me, only me. They covered my shoulders, arms, and especially my watermelon belly. A lady walking near us began to prophesy about the blessing of this child and how the butterflies knew. Blessing, hero, amazing son...Happy Birthday! You deserve the best.
I wrote a song for Will when he graduated high school. This day marks another mile, so I’m singing it again, this time to let go a little more as I watch him take the stepping-stones to places where I can’t follow.
YOU WANNA DANCE?
YOU WANNA PLAY?
TILL WE FIND THE HEARTBEAT OF A HAPPY DAY
AND IT MAKES US SMILE
I’M SO PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE
I KNOW HEAVEN MADE A MILLION LUCKY STARS
FOR YOU TO CATCH WITH STYLE
JUST REMEMBER YOU CAN ALWAYS TAKE MY HAND
WHEN YOU NEED A PRAYER, A PROMISE, OR A SONG THAT NEVER ENDS
YOU WANNA DANCE?