Today is Boy’s birthday. In a few short weeks he will become a first time dad (making me a first time grandmomma!). In a few short weeks he’s going to intimately understand the deepest love there is on this planet. In a few short weeks he’s going to look at me, not as an insane momma who is overly emotional when it comes to my kiddo, but as one who understands that crazy insane love. I can’t wait. It will be a joy to behold.
Happy Birthday, Boy!
29 years ago, I became a mom.
I was a reluctant mom-to-be when I was pregnant. I worried that I wouldn’t know how to mother a child. The full weight of what it meant to successfully guide another human being through life, manifested in actual nightmares. Hell, I was a child myself. Although, at 22 I felt quite grown.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant and not harboring a tropical disease (I had just returned from Puerto Vallarta ), I was stunned. I was a newlywed. A newlywed who had been told (by a trusted doc) that she would never ever have babies of her own.
You can imagine my surprise. You can imagine Husband’s!
I’M PREGNANT?! How did that happen?!
For nine months I worried. I cried. I feared for the worst. I begged God to have mercy on my unborn child. ME?! A mother? Even my friends were stunned. Of my peers, I think I would have been voted Least Likely To Mother, yet Most Likely To Start The Party.
Then the most miraculous thing happened; Boy was born. From the moment he was placed in my trembling arms, I was all in. Every fear, every tear, every worry dissipated. I remember telling Husband, as I looked into Boy’s eyes for the first time, “If anyone tries to hurt this child, I will kill them.”
The nurses were shocked he stopped screaming when they handed him to me:
After these pics were taken, Husband passed them around the waiting room. I’ve always loved the imagery of a proud first-time dad, showing off his son to family, friends and complete strangers.
Never underestimate a mother’s love. It is fierce and bold and brave.
What began that day was a love affair with my child. (he just gagged and rolled his eyes, but one day, God-willing, he’ll understand when he’s handed his baby) We knew that most likely he was our singular kiddo miracle and that we would not be offered a second, so we enjoyed every second of raising him.
After marrying the absolute love of my life, Boy has been my biggest gift.
He was a joy to raise. Irreverent, sassy, smart (ohmygosh, so smart), funny as hell, sharp, goofy, thought-filled, playful, naughty, unexpected, trying, beautiful…
I used to tell Boy that when he was in heaven, before his heart beat in my womb, before he came home to us, he looked down from heaven and told God, “Them. I pick them.” I told him that God agreed because we would teach him exactly what he needed to walk through this life.
I especially told him that story when he was in trouble and wasn’t happy with us. “Don’t blame me. You picked us.”
Used to drive him crazy. Momma’s having some fun, baby!
Here we are 29 years later, a heartbeat later, and when I look at Boy my heart remembers that day I met him for the first time. I feel the same maternal passion I felt then; woe to the soul who tries to harm my child. Yet, my fears preceding that moment were unfounded. Turns out, I did know how to mother a child, my child.
It’s not easy being a parent; it’s not for the weak. The responsibility can be a heart-crusher. Yet, unspeakable joy trumps everything that is difficult. As I look back over my life, over my accomplishments, I am filled with awe and humbled before God that I had the opportunity to be his mom.
And that he picked us…
Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy!