When She first told us she was going to have a baby, she already knew you.
She knew your name, she knew what you would look like, and she knew right then, that you would be hers forever.
Saturday mornings, while you were growing inside Her, Sister and I would be hanging out in their bedroom.
They were still half asleep.
We would proclaim how we just knew the baby was going to be a girl.
But, She knew. She always knew.
When She brought you home from the hospital, she was glowing. Beaming with pride. She could not wait to introduce you to us.
So attentive, nurturing, loving.
She was like that with all of us.
She would always sew you the cutest little jumpers. One in particular stands out.
It was red. Not solid, it had monkeys or something on it. She would dress you in it on hot summer days.
No shirt underneath. There was never a need.
Your chunky little thighs would rub together.
You may have had a mullet back then, although I know no one wants to admit that now.
Your school years seem to have flown by.
I remember one day, you came home from school. I believe you rode the bus. She and I were sitting outside in the backyard, out on the deck, waiting for you.
From where I was sitting I had a view of the long driveway.
I saw you walking, a big goofy smile on your face,I looked at Her and said “Here he comes!”
She was then making her way up, out of the lounge chair, so she can greet you and make you a snack.
You were making your way towards me. Big goofy smile still plastered all over your face.
You have something in your hands,
oh is it a gift for me?
Did you make something for me in school?
You come over to me, beaming with pride, you ask me to look.
Of course I do.
The biggest, ugliest frog is looking back at me. I jumped about 12 feet.
She burst out into hysterical laughter.
As did you.
But it was the sound of Love.
I have heard the sound of Love many times over the course of my childhood, our childhood.
But tonight, I heard it again, and it was simply magical.
You are no longer the little boy in the red jumper.
You are no longer the little boy who found such joy in tormenting with frogs.
It had been a few months since She was able to talk to her baby boy.
Her baby boy who is now finishing up his first deployment.
She was able to talk to you tonight. A moment that I know she was looking forward to.
I am on the phone with you.
The plan was to do the conference call, so we could all talk to you at once, catch up on the last five months.
I tell you to hold on while I call Her.
“Hi, it’s me, hold on while will bring him on.”
I switch the call to conference call, all three of us are on.
I do not want to waste whatever time I may have.
“Okay, you guys talk while I call Carolyn and bring her on”
and that is when it happened.
That is when I heard the sound of Love.
You did not know I was listening.
It was not a private moment.
I took the phone away from my ear,
getting ready to call Carolyn
and then I heard it.
Not so much the word, but what was behind the words.
All it was was “Anthony?”
and that was it, the sound of Love.