Twenty-one for me looked a lot like the rising silence before the gale and pour of a drawn out storm. In all honesty, at that time in my life, I didn’t want kids. I knew having kids meant I’d need to give up a large part of my adolescence; the part that only needed to worry about my own future.

But my plans would soon crumble, and crumble, and crumble some more until I accepted the inevitability of change, and the reshaping of plans that naturally follows.

One of my favorite memories with you takes me back to when you were about seven months old. Your father and I just got married a few months prior and lived in one of his mom’s (your Nanny) homes in Universal City, TX. A three-bedroom home in an established neighborhood. Your father was about to graduate college and also working his first big boy job from home. I was taking classes and working part-time as a teller at a local bank.

Nanny was too generous with us and didn’t charge us any rent. It was such a transitionary period in my life. It felt like nothing belonged to me, like so much future lie ahead, but no actual means to get somewhere. I had a lot of reasons to believe everything would work out for the best. I married a person who brings me up, loves, and supports me. But this was also a time when I witnessed your future being decided for you. There was just as much excitement as there was apprehension. Events were happening around you out of your control but negatively effecting your life, which inevitably, effected ours.

You should know, loving you was inevitable. I knew even then, the softness of your little soul. You rarely cried and smiled often at everyone. Your outgoing personality already taking shape. During that time, you were frequently dropped off with your father and I. Some weeks every morning. We’d wake up to your sweet face, an unexpected, but always welcomed surprise. That’s it, the memory I love the most, waking up to your chunky face smiling back at me. The day unexpectedly altered with the presence of your smile. Morning snuggles always proceeded bottle time, then we’d change your diaper, play, rock you for nap time, then play some more until we had to leave, until we figured out who’d take care of you next.

I remember distinctly, the moment my mind changed. The me that kept children at a far, far distant future. I remember telling your father something that changed the way we approached our life going forward. We were in the kitchen on a morning you didn’t come over. I missed you. I wanted to know where you were. My stomach dropped as the possibilities ran through my mind. I stared at your formula left from a few days prior and felt my fickle plans reshaping. I looked at your father and spoke, “I think I could be a Mom. Sometimes I feel God pulling me, maybe somewhere I’m needed? I don’t know, I’m scared, but I feel it so strongly and when I think of Jaxson…” he looked at me and with just as much hesitation said, “Yea, I feel the same way.”

Aubrey Cofield