My 5th Kid

My kids will laugh at this and say I am going into my 2nd childhood.

Believe it or not, I have a 5th “kid”. A boy. And while he has not aged, in reality he should be over 20 years old by now, older than our eldest daughter.

He came into my life when I was still single. I met him in the U.S. and fell in love with him as soon as I cradled him in my arms. He was the right baby size and had a soft, pliable body I loved to hug.

Throughout many lonely days (when homesickness struck), he was my solace. I gave him my favorite boy name — Michael. Only he knew my deepest secrets then. Only he saw my tears and struggles as I tried to get through my studies without my family around.

But when I settled down and started having kids, I neglected him. I introduced him to my girls years back but his presence did not last. After all, I had kids of my own to take care of. I forgot he existed until today when, for some reason, memories of him came back and jolted me. I looked for him and took him back into my arms, remembering our days together — the winters he kept me company. Many shared moments…

He was a bit dirty, his face smudged from years of neglect. His baby clothes no longer had the fresh scent they had when I put them on him. I took out a washcloth and gently wiped him clean as best I could. I still have to put a clean set of clothes on him.

All these years, he waited patiently while I reared my family — just waiting for the moment when I would remember him once again. And today, I did remember him….

Cara took one look at him and remembered too. “It’s Michael?” And I just nodded.

Welcome back into my life, Baby M!

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