A true measure
Dear son – A few days ago we quietly ushered in your 18th birthday. No matter how quickly I wanted to slow down time to prevent this day’s arrival, my efforts failed miserably. I wanted to bottle you up as the little curly-headed boy who would pad into my bedroom and ask “Is it time for ‘bweakfast’ yet?” and keep you that way forever. If I had, I would have missed out on the glimpses of who you would really grow to be.
Time slows down for no momma which was very evident over the course of the last weekend. If time was a better friend, she would have realized that it was all too much to mourn our darkest day and then a few days later celebrate your achievements. The irony was not lost on this momma’s heart that we were remembering letting one son go as we prepared to let another one march into the world on his. If time was my friend, she would have slowed down enough to let me recover from one moment before rushing headlong into the other one. I am pretty sure time and me are no longer on speaking terms.
When you were little we planned elaborate birthday bashes, but now, you are marching to the beat of your own drum and chose to go out with friends, joining us later for a dessert celebration. The day was a reflection of what will most likely be for years to come. It was during our family gathering I was once again reminded of who you are at the core of your being. After an order mix-up, you gave your friend the bigger dessert – on your birthday. There was no arguing with you that we could order another one because it was already way past your baby sister’s bedtime. From the moment the doctor said, “It’s a boy!” on the day you arrived into the world on one of the coldest days in history, I have lived every moment investing in raising a gentleman. The dessert debacle proved to me, while I still hope you are remembering to open doors, a gentleman is indeed what our efforts produced.
I’ve never been nervous about launching you into the world. My confidence in your future lies in believing you embody an old saying “A true measure of success is how you overcome the obstacles in your path”. I have lost count of all the surgeries and procedures you have endured, and there is no test for the childhood lost as you were forced to grow up so fast. Yet, you have always been my gentle giant, who leads with a quiet strength. Your faith has been unwavering, your perseverance beyond admirable, and your convictions your guiding light. Having the courage to stand by your convictions exudes character well beyond your years. It may not feel that way to you, but I am not the only person who has noticed how the obstacles you have encountered have been treated as mere bumps in the road. Your eyes were always on the prize – serving your Jesus.
Watching you face the giants in your life has been one of the most humbling experiences of my lifetime. It was just a dessert some would say, but to me, it was a reminder from God that He has been, is, and forever more shall be the real navigator of your success. He has taught you the real meaning of life – loving him and serving others. Along the way mixed in with many different lessons, He has taught you about frailties: your physical being, the fleeting vapor of life, and the tenderness of a momma’s heart.
From that last one, I hope you know that I am so incredibly proud of you and all that you stand for. I love you always and forever, and I will always have extra dessert – just in case – when you come home from college next year.
Love – Momma