My Light

January 13, 2009
By Shawnee Griffin, Hartland, WI

“Ok, guys. Sit down, I have some news.” She reaches into an envelope and pulls out something thin and plastic-looking with black on it. My brother and sister don’t understand, but I know exactly what it is. A sonogram. My 43-year-old mother is pregnant.

I will never forget that day, when my destiny changed with that piece of plastic. Because of the baby, we got a new house, a new car and a step-dad. While my mother grew around the midsection, I was going through my last year of middle school. I counted the days until his due date in my assignment notebook. About a month before he was due, my mom wanted us to take a vote to name the baby. It was between Karson and Jayden. Seven of us voted and Jayden was the victor. Jayden Daniel was born on May 9, 2005. My four siblings and I arrived at the hospital five minutes after he was born. We had to wait a bit, but then we got to go in. I walked in, and saw him laying on a cushioned table hooked up to machines. There was a complication with the birth. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck. My mother assured us he was fine. He was just hooked up to ensure that he had proper blood flow. I hardly heard here. I stood there staring at him. He was beautiful. He was brand new to this world, and I was a part of it. We got to hold him and take pictures. Then my mom got hungry so my step-dad went to get us all Culvers. The first meal we shared with him.

From that day on, my siblings and I have taken care of him when we were needed. I’ve had to give up two of my summers to take care of Jayden, but I wouldn’t trade them. We adore him and we each have our part in raising him. I’m determined to make him an artist and a music nerd. My step-brother and step-dad want him to be an athlete. My sisters want him to be a lady killer and my brother wants him to be weird. I have a feeling he will be a little part of each of us rolled into one.

That little boy is my muse. He’s taught me to love more than I could imagine. It’s still surreal to me that I have someone so wonderful in my life. No matter how bad my day or week is, just one hug and kiss from him is enough to get me going again. One sonogram was enough to change the course of my life, and I couldn’t be happier.

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