You can hold your breath so long that you don’t even realize it anymore. The stored oxygen becomes a part of you, a weight that tethers your feet to the floor. You can hold your breath so long that the exhale, when it comes, can take weeks. We’ve only just begun to breathe, to let go. 

I didn’t sleep well last night. I kept starting awake with the thought that Sugar Biscuit is now my son. My Son. My sun. It’s similar to the way we pick up the phone to call a newly deceased loved one, only to realize that they are gone. The shock to your system once again as the knowledge re-lodges itself in your heart. Except this is a happy reminder, bringing a smile to my face even as I lie half asleep. 

I keep waiting for it to sink in. I thought once the judge banged the gavel, and our friends and family cheered, it would become instantly real. I’m still waiting. Last night, when speaking to a family member, I called SB “my son”, but it came out in a different tone. A solid, definitive one. It used to be when I would say these words, my voice would lilt at the end, almost making it a question. It’s no longer a question. My family, and the people it contains, are a fact. We have the paperwork to prove it.

Today is a party for family and close friends. The people who’ve walked the road with us. This party has been the day I’ve looked forward to for many, many months. This party has been my focus, and my prayer. Cotton candy, barbecue, and bounce houses can be proof of miracles. Sugar Biscuit is proof of a miracle. The metamorphosis of my husband and children is proof of a miracle. 

Today is day one on the new road. We are moving forward, scraped and taped together and grateful. I expect less landmines and more rainbows. I expect laughter, and tears, and kisses. Most of all, I just expect Life. Simple, ordinary days with homework and boogers and pots of stew and weekend vacations. This is where grace lies, in our homes and our families. It lies in one foot in front of the other, listening softly for the footfalls of the others walking beside you, into the sunrise.