H Sweater

Today, I am wearing my favorite sweatshirt.

It is threadbare and pilly, worn and ragged and comfy, but that is not the reason. It is from one of the most exciting, fulfilling and meaningful years of my life--when I got to go to Harvard and study with Prof. Carol Gilligan, a dream I never thought I'd have, which opened my world & changed me forever--but that is not the reason. This sweater was my one indulgence, my one souvenir outside that Latin piece of paper that proved to me that I not only worked hard for years following my passion, applying to 29 schools (28 rejected me. I only got one "Yes," which was Harvard), but I paid for the entire Master's program myself--but that is not the reason.

There's a lot I don't talk about regarding my world, my family, my fears. That's because it is not only private, but it's not just my story to tell. But this one is mine.

After years of messy, non-verbal communication, questions without answers and long, sleepless nights, I worried that I would never hear the word "Mommy" from my baby boy. In fact, my son did not call me Mommy when he finally began to identify people--I was "H." There was Daddy and his sister, the cats, the cousins, grandparents and kids at the dojo, but I was "H." We couldn't figure it out. Did it stand for something? Did he the parallel lines? Did the shape remind him of something about me? It wasn't until years after, when we were getting ready in the morning, that he smiled and pointed at me and said, "Pink H!"

I looked down. It was my Harvard sweatshirt. It had a big, crimson H on it, like a Superman "S."

And that's when I got that my son knew his world, translated it differently, offered it back, and he knew me and loved me as "H." This sweatshirt was the first time I got a glimpse into my kid's head and it reminds me that the world is filled with everyday miracles if you learn to listen and be willing to look at things in a different light.

This sweatshirt reminds me that anything is possible.


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