It's five in the morning and the early morning hours have belonged to my mind now since four.
I was twenty-three years old and a little scared Christmas Eve of 1988 when Lena convinced me to take a pregnancy test.
Later that day sitting in front of a fire in a little duplex in Clinton he unwrapped a baby's first Christmas onesie.
And it was dark with only firelight and Christmas lite and the light in his eyes and excitement overtook fear and we began a journey together, the two of us with baby now made three and each day has been a step toward another step and then another.
Yesterday was a trial run and I think she figured some things out in her mind and now today in just a few hours we go to buy the dress. That little onesie was her first outfit and I was nervous so Lena bought it for me and made me wrap it and tell him what my body had been screaming for weeks but love will buy this dress.
She was changing yesterday when I sat quietly where all mothers of the brides sit and whispered into the phone how proud he'd be of her.
She's trying so hard with the money, you'd be proud of her. She's not even trying on expensive dresses and she's thinking so hard about the price that I want to scream to somebody to bring her the most expensive one here. And she's beautiful.
And I kept thinking about that little onesie. And I cried the first dress she put on because that onesie doesn't fit any more and I know that's not rational because where would I be if that onesie had been the only thing that ever fit but sometimes a mother's thoughts and logic are miles apart.
So today she'll try on dresses and her eyes will keep drifting to price tags and I'll want to tell her not to look but I know I can't and shouldn't so I will pray she knows numbers have never and will never define her worth. Be it sugar numbers or insulin units or tests passed or failed or money spent or saved in the end there's only love - for she was and is a dream come true with a little first Christmas outfit while she still grew strong inside me and this dress her daddy will proudly walk her down the aisle in.
If you say yes to a dress today I promise not to cry. But I don't promise to not lie awake at four in the morning just to think about you.