My baby boy is 19 years old today which I suppose makes today my 19th Mommiversary. Every cliche known to every mom comes to mind but the one that I seem to think over and over is “Where did the time go?”. Maybe I’m more sentimental about this because the first thing I always think of is, “I wish mom were here”. She’s missed so much and that breaks my heart.
It was just yesterday that I sneaked into the bathroom at my office to take a pregnancy test. My fingers shook as I thought that I should have waited until I got home and do it in some ceremonial fashion rather than in a stall in an office complex conveniently located at the junction of I-5 and Interstate 80.
His childbirth is a blur since I went into pre-term labor at 28 weeks, got pre-eclampsia at 35 weeks and spent 9 weeks bedridden just to keep the boy cooking in the womb. Then when he was actually born, he had the cord around his neck and wasn’t breathing. I made my mother follow his every move, afraid he might get switched around at the hospital, while my husband stayed with me, hoping I didn’t seize and die.
His childhood is a blur cuz he was a whirlwind of a boy into everything and basking in the glow of negative attention. His teenage years are a blur cuz he suffered from severe migraines and was sick so often it seemed like all we did was search for answers and cures for his intolerable pain. That and cuz that same negative attention thing makes for a super feisty (read: smart a$$) teenage boy.
Then he grew up. Magically. Overnight. One minute I was holding him in my arms, just after his birth, staring at my husband wondering how we could be a part of this miracle and the next we were sitting behind him while he was scheduling his college classes and working with his counselor like a mature, fully-formed man.
Where did the time go?
When the doctor’s put him in my hands, I looked up at my husband and said, “I could have six more of these right now.” He practically fainted…again (that’s a whole other blog post). But I meant it. The one feeling that was very clear when I held that baby for the first time, was my purpose in life. I knew with all my being that I was born to be a mom. Not a perfect mom. Not a mom who changes the world in any significant way. A mom who does her best every single day to make sure she turns out adults who she might want to be friends with. Adults who earn their way, work hard and know when and how to do the right thing.
I know exactly where that time went: into feedings, diaper changes, Baptism, lullabies, stories, playgroup, soccer, gymnastics, swim team, T-ball, basketball,football, golf, lacrosse, dive team, homework, tutoring, Sunday School, Church, home church (his favorite), where do babies come from?, how not to search for naked pictures of Pamela Anderson on the internet even if you are proud that you know how to spell naked correctly, First Communion, year-round school, how to deal with a crazy full-time working mom, how to deal with a mom who gave her career up for her children and struggles to find her identity, how to leave five generations of family history behind and move across the country to where the ground is frozen for 6 months and you don’t know a soul, Cotillion, Confirmation, how to drive on a frozen lake, getting your permit, getting your driver’s license, how to dig your car out of the snow, how to change a tire, how to call AAA when you can’t dig your car out of the snow, vacations, family holidays, spring breaks, endless summers, movies, weekends where you don’t get out of your jammies all day, endless doctors, broken bones, casts, splints, crutches, ER visits, hospital stays, specialists, holistic specialists, meds, herbs, potions, parties, formal dances, dating, learning gentlemanly behavior with women, the sex talk, Prom, tuxes, corsages, girlfriends, heartbreak, how to break up with a girl without making everybody mad at you, learning about safe alcohol consumption prior to college, car accidents, leaving for college, surviving leaving for college, proper behavior when coming home from college, job searching, how to quit a job without burning bridges, how to write resumes and cover letters, how to ask for what you want rather than assume the other person can read your mind.
My baby boy is 19 today and I couldn’t be more proud of the man he’s become. Today is my 19th Mommiversary. Thank you, Jesus.