If anyone had told me I would one day have three adult sons, one now in his thirties, I would have silently scoffed. We were young, in love, and just starting our family. One look at our parents, who were grandparents several times over by the time we had kids, told me we had plenty of time. I couldn’t imagine myself in their shoes. Besides, I was convinced (hoping) Jesus would return before my kids grew up and left home.
Have I mentioned that I am an escape artist?
Time has a way of turning our ideas, our hopes, and our carefully laid plans upside down and inside out. Empty nest, kids far from the place they once called home, and here we sit suddenly looking an awfully lot like our parents did all those years ago.
But with the years come some mighty happy memories. Today is one of those, as it is the birthday of our oldest son. Of course, he doesn’t remember his birth like I do! How we thought labor had started, but were sent home to wait until things progressed. How I didn’t sleep all night because I didn’t like the doctor on call and prayed desperately that someone else would be there when we went back in the morning. (And God graciously answered that prayer by giving me the best doctor in the practice!) But that lack of sleep wasn’t such a good idea…
How holding this son for the very first time was so surreal! He was my son? My son! Even now I can recall the feeling and yet I can’t really describe it. I guess you had to be there.
I have photo albums of the first days of their lives, and on each birthday I look back at those early pictures just to let myself remember. And perhaps shed of few nostalgic tears. I didn’t get that wish to keep them little or us all together until Jesus returns. We didn’t even get to keep them in the same state nearby. But we’ve had a lot of good years near and far, and I can’t help but share how proud I am of this now adult son. Our firstborn. The one who got stuck being practiced on, since no first-time parent has it all figured out.
But I think, despite his parents’ mistakes, he has grown into a fine young man, thoughtful, kind, caring, smart, logical, artistic, and so much more. He’s got big dreams and the will to pursue them, and I can’t wait to see what else God has for him.
Happy Birthday, Jeff!