years ago. that's when i gave birth to a baby boy. that's how many years ago my dad looked into my eyes and said "i'm proud of you" after my first child came into the world. the number of years that have passed since they whisked him to the other side of the room and i didn't hear a cry - "cry, baby, cry!!"
twelve times twelve months have passed since he was delivered, the midwife having to cut a cord wrapped twice around his neck - and after long, scary moments, Papa-God let us borrow him.
twelve years ago, scared to death, my young husband and i drove onto the highway with a little bundle strapped nervously into the new pastel-lined carseat. we looked at each other (front-to-back-seat - i was too scared not to sit beside baby!)-and wondered that the staff "let us leave with this baby!"
i was raised with my one sister by a single mom in a woman-dominated family, so i was scared to death to have a boy. what would i do with him? how would i know how to talk to him?
twelve years, and i've learned a lot about boys... i've had three more (and squeezed a girl in, besides!).
it's not so long, twelve years. this man-boy has stolen my heart and pushed my buttons and challenged me to learn sports and teased me with slimy things and rescued me from scaly critters and called me on the carpet and oh-so-many more wonderful things.
we celebrated those twelve dear years this weekend with breakfast in bed (a sacred tradition). my boy chose
raspberry-chocolate-chunk muffins and sausage and fresh fruit and oj and milk. he skipped the eggs and coffee this year - i think he was wanting to lighten my load on a busy day.
and mind-blowing to me, he asked for a date with me (me??) and his buddy, and that buddy's mom - to race go-carts, and play video games, and shoot the enemy in the laser tag arena.
"thanks for asking me," i said. (i knew dad would've probably been more fun. but i lived it up. i kept the pedal to the metal and came in second only to him on the track, and only because he stayed tight on the turns!).
"i knew you'd get a kick out of it."
this boy, who embarassed me by giving me an earful in a fast food parking lot recently, asked mom for a birthday date because he knew it'd blow my mind. huh. that's God.
this boy who, at his Poppy's request, read through the Bible last year, and will do it again this year, is our 12-year gift. he sang in the kids' Christmas musical this year at church, and when he began his solo, my breath caught as i heard that man-voice underlying our "little boy's" song.
in twelve years, he's learned to cook and now critiques my dishes. he can be thrown a handful of ingredients and whip something up on his own. he's learning photography and now challenges me to improve my skills. he's his dad's man-of-the-house in training. he steps on our toes in parenting his siblings, and sometimes makes our job easier when he does. he sneaks up and gives shoulder rubs when he knows we're stressed. he reminds us each of our own first-born-ness when he acts like he's in charge of the universe.
this weekend we celebrated 12 years of life for a young man of God in the making. as i went to bed his birthday night, i spied a pair of his(outlawed in the house)shoes on the stairs. just for kicks, i tried one on. it was too big.
twelve years ago - that was yesterday. tomorrow (Lord willing), i'll be posting about his wedding day.