Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy 17th Birthday

My son turns 17 today.  I can still remember the morning he was born, so very early in the hours of that Tuesday. It snowed that day, which was highly unusual for where we lived. I love snow but I didn't care nearly as much about that as I did about the new little person who had entered my life. I couldn't wait to see him, to hold him, to count his fingers and toes.  He was beautiful, so tiny and so full of life.  He had already changed my life, and I knew in an academic way that he would change it even more now that he was actually here.

Over the years, my son has motivated and inspired me, challenged me, and driven me to become a better human being, a better parent, and a better friend.  He has been my motivation not to give up when things seemed hopeless.  He is an amazing human being and I stand in awe, knowing that I have had any part in the shaping and formation of who he is today.  I credit the majority of it to the God I love and serve, whose hand has always guided me and whose primary tool of choice in shaping me was my son.

I love this child for his wit, his intelligence, and for his incredible sense of humor; but I admire him for his grace under pressure.  He's usually the calmest of the three of us when we are in a bad spot which, unfortunately, happens more often than I'd like.  He's held his head up when we were homeless and living out of a van, while I fell apart and acted like a spoiled child. He's dealt with the power, the phone, and the internet being shut off as if it were no big deal.  These are the moments when his faith in God to deliver us most inspires me.  This is a child who, at age 13, wrote one of the most profound essays I have read entitled Poverty.

He is an artist, constantly creating whether it is with words or sculptures.  His hands have certainly sculpted and shaped my life.  It was his voice who called me back to the faith I had abandoned as a younger woman. It was for his sake that I went ahead and went to those Family Apostolate meetings so many years ago, only to rediscover my faith and realize that I didn't know the Catholic Church nearly as well as I thought I did. It was for his sake that I have made every good change in my life, learning to be more focused, more committed, and more reliable as I have gotten older. Someday, I hope that he is blessed to have a child who will do for him what he has done for me.

Happy birthday, son.  

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