Birthday Boo-Hoos

8:43 AMHeather

Some people cry over their aging. So far, so good...not feeling that myself, and I even turn 39 in a few months. But, I make my public confession here. I easily get worked into tears on my children's birthdays. I've found motherhood to be this indescribable, overwhelming, frustrating, exhilarating, challenging, consuming thing that brings me to tears as well as laughter--sometimes in quick succession. And, today, I simply feel sentimental because my oldest child turns eleven.

Eleven years ago, at this very moment, I was lying in the hospital bed at Labor and Delivery, with a pitocin drip trying to help move along my first attempt at having a baby. I was excited to find out whether the baby was a boy or a girl, ready to meet him or her. And, I was terrified about the actual delivery--and ALL that would follow! And my life has never been the same since. So, bear with my sentimental ode to my oldest.

Collin was a sweet, easy baby. Now, I didn't realize how EASY he was until I had more children--I just had nothing to compare it to. But, I know now that Collin was born with this even tempered, even keeled temperament. He has a tender heart, is a deep thinker, very compassionate, and incredibly intuitive spiritually.

In the summer of 2003, we were looking for a new church home. The first time I took my children to a play date at a particular church, Collin announced as we left that THIS was to be our new church home. I thought to myself, "yep, he thinks that because he just had this GREAT play time." Then, four-year-old Collin said, "Hey, Mom, I don't just say that because today was fun. I think we need to go to service and Sunday School here every week!" I was officially creeped out! But, he hit the nail on the head. We joined a month later, and this church home has become our family in every sense of the word.

My creeped out factor reached new levels when Collin suddenly announced one month after that incident that we were going to have a baby. I informed him quite firmly that our family was complete, and we were no way, no how going to have more babies. He calmly and confidently said, "But,Mom, there are supposed to be three of us. AND, the third one is supposed to be a girl."

Yep, if you know my family--you know this is exactly what happened. Within 4 months, we found ourselves expecting our "bonus child." She is the missing piece we didn't know we were missing--an amazing completion to our family. And, Collin never wavered--he was sure of what he was speaking.

Collin is more reserved, and a man of few words. But, there is a deep well of thoughts and feelings there. He is calm when I am not. On days when he sees me losing my cool, he quickly comes and embraces me. Chris and I have often said that we are raising an old soul in this one. He has wisdom and maturity beyond his years. We've noticed at gatherings, he prefers to sit with the adults and chat us up.

I really cannot adequately describe this wonder that I have the amazing privilege to call my son. I cannot express how proud I am of him as I watch him grow into a fine young man. I cannot hardly even type this without tears because I KNOW that God has big things for this boy. Collin, like all my kids, is the embodiment of GRACE--a gift I don't deserve. I find myself watching him now with new eyes--I look at him playing football in the front yard, and whisper a prayer that I've done enough, I've done him justice, I've done it right. I feel the minutes ticking by, and the years seem to speed up, and I can nearly taste the anguish of watching my first born packing up and leaving our house to tackle the world. I know, I know--it's ridiculous--he's only eleven. But, that's much less time left with him than we've had thus far. And he is a miracle--I forgot to mention we were told that we WOULD lose the pregnancy early on. But, he is a living, breathing miracle, proving daily the love of a Father bent on pouring out goodness and grace.

Happy birthday, my Collin Bear. You truly broke in your rookie mom gently and tenderly. You have endured much as my first--a guinea pig to all my mistakes. You are a treasure, a rich reward, a wonder of all wonders. And, I love being your mom.

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