|Jack and sneaky selfie with my good camera.
Today my son, Jack, turned twelve. He is the only one of my children born after my due date. The previous five all came early, the fifth came twenty-two days early. This means that about a month out from my due date, everyone expected me to have a baby. I would show up at church or at a home school function and I was giantly pregnant and somebody would stop, drop their jaw, and cry out, "Are you still pregnant?!?"
"No. This is a beach ball. I hid the baby in the car so I would not have to share him with any of you."
I laugh about it now but at the time, I cried so much! When my due date dawned, I literally sat up and cried because in six pregnancies, it was the only time I did not wake up on my due date without a baby in my arms. What seemed like an eternity to wait, is now a blink of an eye. I am sure someone said something like that to me at the time but I only heard the questions about labor and delivery.
Jack is my sneaky one. He is my squirrely one. He is the one who managed to climb up on top of our giant fridge and climb into the basket in which I was keeping all the girl scout cookies. He is the one who knows that my good camera is my good camera and nobody messes with it. Except him, because to Jack, rules are suggestions and if he breaks them in an awesome way, it should all work out in the end. He always has his natural charm to get him out of sticky situations. This boy is gonna be trouble.
He is also the one who had scrambled eggs for breakfast one morning, just before his first birthday, and went into anaphylactic shock. I watched the hives spread over his face and body and I called the doctor. I got him into the Suburban and and watched his lips start to swell. There was no way I was making it the office. I yelled out to my next door neighbor to call him (he is and was a friend) and tell him I was going to the hospital. I should have just called 911 but the hospital was right behind the house so fortunately, my poor decision didn't turn out too badly. As soon as I ran in (just throwing my keys at the E/R valet), they got him in and medicated. He looked freakish for about five days but recovered beautifully.
I remember thinking that I couldn't deal with that allergy. My oldest daughter was recovering from strokes caused by a blood clotting condition and she was on the mend. I didn't think I had the strength to do that. But I did. Motherhood is an incredible thing. We are driven by unfathomable depths of love and fueled by caffeine and sheer will we can do anything. Each beat of my heart is the sound of my body telling me and my children that I am not giving up, even when I want to.
I am profoundly grateful for every morning that I wake up next to my husband and with the houseful of children who are growing too quickly. Every day is they are a gift to me. Today, that one there is especially a gift to me. God is good, I am weak, but it all turns out in the end. Jack teaches me that daily.
Happy birthday, son. May God grant you many, many happy years.