Today is my son’s birthday, he is 22. He is my only child.
Throughout his life, I’ve always made him my first priority. His happiness was always more important than mine. Right or wrong, I lived through him. When he was young, I saw the world anew through his eyes. When he was a teenager, I loved listening to him talk about exams, graduation, friends and football. As he’s grown into adulthood, I enjoy watching him work through college, live on his own and experience being in love.
Nothing makes me yearn for the past like the memories I have of holding his hand. When I was pregnant, I had him all to myself, perfectly safe and secure. After he was born, I spent my days holding him close to me. I’m glad I was wise enough to know that the early days of his life would pass quickly. I was fully present when I held him and when I looked into his eyes, I wondered about his future and dreamed dreams for him.
The time came when I had to return to work. I clearly remember the first day I left him at day care. I laid him next to his caregiver on a blue mat. I looked down at him. He was so small and I was leaving him in this big world without my protection. His caregiver chatted away, trying to make me feel comfortable until she saw the tears hitting the mat beside him. That picture is forever etched in my mind. Him looking up at me with my tears beside him.
That was the first of many physical bonds to be broken. He learned to ride a bike and rode away from me. He learned to drive a car and drove away from me. He left for college and has a life of his own, away from me. I wish I knew that raising a child is a series of separations. If I knew, maybe I could have tried to get ready for each milestone. Probably not, there is no way to prepare for the ever loosening grip I had on his hand.
He was 5 years old during a particularly stressful time in my life. He and I were in the car going to Blockbuster. It was raining and I was in a gloomy mood. He told me that before he was born, he sat on a cloud and looked down at earth and saw me. He told God that he wanted me to be his mom. I don’t think he will ever realize how desperately I needed to hear that. How thinking about it now, makes me cry. How honored I am to have him as my son. He is my greatest treasure.
Today, more than ever, children need our love. If you don’t have children of your own, look for a child in need of love and support. Loving children will always teach you that you have much more love to give than you could ever imagine.
Mark 9:36 – 37; Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”