Sunday, January 24, 2010

Growing Pains

My oldest son turns 25 tomorrow. Somehow that seems like such a milestone birthday, much more so than when he turned 18 or even 21. Maybe because he just recently became engaged to his sweetheart of 5 years. Soon he won't be "my" boy any more, he will be someone else's. Even though my husband teases me that neither one of our sons can be rightfully called boys any more, they will both always be "my boys". (Our youngest is 16 & towers over me at 6'2"). There is something special about the bond between mothers and sons. I know our children are temporary gifts from God and I pray we have done well with those gifts.

Where does the time go? I still remember the drive to the hospital for his birth as if it were last night. It was almost 2 weeks before my due date and I was scheduled to start my maternity leave in just 2 days. It was close to midnight, I had been at work on my feet all day & I was almost done for the night when I knew something wasn't right. After calling the doctor and being told to go to the hospital, my co-workers started trying to reach my husband. (This was back "in the day" before everyone had cell phones.) My husband broke all speed records to get us to the hospital. What should have taken 45 minutes from my job only took 20. When we got to the hospital, they whisked me away to determine the extent of the complications. I was soon reassured that everything was fine. Since we already knew this baby was to be delivered by C-section and my doctor had another surgery scheduled the next morning, they decided the baby & I would be fine till then & got us settled in for the night. Not until much later did I know my poor husband had spent all of this time anxiously on the pay phone with his mother as the hospital staff forgot to tell him the baby & I were doing fine! Bless his heart, he spent the rest of the night in a chair next to me and didn't leave my side. Nor did he leave my side during the entire delivery.

The next morning, a healthy baby boy was delivered at 10:30am. I didn't get to hold or feed him right away because of the surgery and the anesthesia, but the next day I did. I still remember that tiny little baby in my hospital bed with me and the indescribable feelings welling up in me. To this day, I tell soon-to-be moms that no one can describe the depth of feelings that this tiny person will bring out in you - the awe that this little person came from you, the beauty you see in the red scrunched up face, the perfection of the little fingers & toes, the absolute wonder of it all.

And then the fear sets in - the huge responsibility of it all. This is not a baby doll that can be put away, this is a live human being that you have been given charge of. It is an awesome and overwhelming feeling. I was absolutely terrified. Again, since this was "back in the day", I was in the hospital for 5 days with my son being brought to me only when I wanted him or he was hungry, so I had lots of time to dwell on these fears & build up my inadequacies in my head.

Through God's grace and perfect timing, I began attending church 6 weeks later & started my walk with the Lord soon after. He has seen us well through these 25 years and I am so proud of the man our son has become. He is kind, compassionate, funny, and secure in who he is, and loves the Lord.

Our son has survived a new mom who didn't know what she was doing most of the time, bad advice from doctors (his first pediatrician told me I couldn't feed him any more than every 4 hours - for the first 2 weeks of his life I'm afraid I almost starved that boy!), a heart murmur, bad home hair cuts, stitches, broken bones, more than one broken heart, and lots of other growing pains.

I have survived, too. I survived being a new mom who didn't know what to do with a crying & hungry baby, his first & subsequent bouts of croup in the middle of the night, bad home haircuts, his first boo-boo, his first day of kindergarten, stitches, broken hearts, graduation, going 1000 miles away to college, and lots of other growing pains.

Someone asked me recently, "How do you let them get married?" I have prayed for this girl for him since he was a toddler and she is all that I have asked God for for him. So, with mixed emotions - joy, gratefulness, and yes, even some sadness, I share our gift. I know I will survive this growing pain, also.

Happy 25th birthday, son. We love you.

"Behold, I am doing a new thing."
Isaiah 43"19a

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