Sunday, September 4, 2011

Always the first

I don't even know where to start with today's post. I've known it was coming for a very long time now. And I have been ignoring it. If I don't acknowledge it, maybe it will go away. But I cannot control time, and I can't stop it's march, so this day is here. And I am a bundle of emotions.

From the night I sat in my bathroom staring at the two blue lines, I've known this day would get here. I had never taken a test like this before, but apparently I passed. With trembling hands, and a voice I did not trust, I showed my husband the test results. It was a first for us. A positive pregnancy test.  And we did what any dumbfounded couple would do. We went to Wal-mart.  And bought the child's first onesie.

There was the first OB visit. It was my first ever. And they confirmed what we already knew.  We then told our parents. A first for mine. It would be their first grandchild.  Heath shipped off to basic training, and we were apart for the first time.

I remember seeing our baby for the first time. It was so unreal. My first impression? That's a big head.  I bought my first pair of maternity pants, and a cute yellow maternity shirt to match. Each month seemed to bring on another first.

Heath was injured at basic, and left the Army with a medical discharge.  He would see his first child into the world after all.  It was such a hot summer, and I was glad to have him there with me.

The time came for me to deliver our child. No matter how many movies you watch in labor classes, you are not prepared for this experience. It would be like watching the moon landing and thinking you understood what the astronauts felt.  With a final push, I delivered our first born child at 03:59pm on this day in 1998.  And for the first time I heard, "It's a boy!"

As any parent knows, a baby's life is completely recorded by their firsts. We did too. The first night he slept through, the first tooth, the first roll over, the first time he sat up. The first word. I thought my heart would burst the first time I leaned over his crib and he smiled at me.  There was of course the first sniffles, the first late night doctor's office call.  The first step, the first run, the first scraped knee, and the first bandage. 

On and on the list goes, and I can remember them each. But I struggle today. Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy to watch this child grow, to see him change, to see him mature.  But this is my baby boy. And today I see him across the room reading, and I see a man-child before me.  No longer does he stretch to see when he will out grow me. I have to tippy-toe just to see him eye-to-eye. No longer does that high-pitched little voice squeal in laughter. I often mistake him for his Father.  His shoes are bigger than his Dad's, and soon I'll be shedding tears as he shaves his face for the first time.  I'll be seeing the first time I washed it.

I knew this day was coming, but I just don't know if I'm ready for this first. My first teenager.   And it's not because of all the usual reasons. No, my son still likes to be around us, doesn't storm through the house, doesn't slam doors or such. He's not surly or moody. In fact, he laughs often, hugs us for no reason, loves to cart his little siblings around, and is always willing to help when asked.  He holds lengthy discussions with his Dad over the latest book he's read, or Bible passage he is pondering.  He can't wait to go to his grandparent's houses, or see his young cousins.  Yes, my son is a treasure, and a joy to have around.
Anderson surprising Malc with a kiss.
So today, as I find quite moments, I will reflect.  I will shed a few tears. I really didn't know how hard this would be. But I will laugh, I'll tell him stories of that silly little boy, and his antics, and I will make it through this first as well. Some of it will be curled up next to him as he pats me on the shoulder. And if I cry, he'll cry with me too. And I will thank the Lord for these 13 years. For all the firsts. For all the things this child has taught us. For the blessing that God gave us. And for holding this Mom up.

Malcolm Thomas age 13

Happy 13th Birthday, Malcolm Thomas. May we continue to document every first, and meet it together.  And may you always love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.