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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What I love about my son on his 11th birthday

Today my son turns 11. Can you believe it? 11 years ago today I became a mother for the first time. I always wanted a baby boy first and a girl to follow. I was fortunate enough to get my desire. After over 20 hours of natural childbirth, my son entered the world. As soon as his head entered the oxygenated air, he began to scream. The rest of his body did not follow for at least several minutes, but my son was screaming and was so purple from screaming that they had to re-do the Apgar score a second time to get a decent number.

I remember in the delivery room the encouraging cheers of a nursing staff and a doctor to whom natural childbirth was not their normal routine. They were all very kind and tried to give me the birth I wanted but didn't quite get it as they cheered me on, "here he comes, here he comes! Oh...There he goes!" "Oh, here he comes here he comes! Oh....There he goes!" I wanted them to say nothing more until he really was on his way and not just teasing me with his hair barely visible to nurses. But, he did arrive and with a fury.

I remember the room swirling as they shot off statistics to me that made no sense because they were all even numbers. I kept thinking something must be wrong because no birth can be that precise - May 10, 2000 - 5:05 p.m. - 7 lbs. 10 oz. It went on as I mustered up the strength to plug the important numbers of his birth into my head. But, that is how this child would be. He is very precise and extremely sequential. To this day, if he begins a story and becomes interrupted, he will begin all the way back at the very start of the story to continue on instead of picking up where we left off. He is very concerned with fairness and what is just, so the even numbers of his birth day begin to make more and more sense to me as I watch him grow.

My son was a very high need infant who would not let me put him down to sleep and did not gain weight with my attempts to nurse. It broke my heart when I felt pulled to make the decision to supplement with infant formula so he could grow beyond those scrawny newborn legs even at 3 months of age. He cried a lot unless he was being held or nursed. He was not an easy toddler either. He has never handled transition well. But, these trying infancy and toddlerhood moments with my son turned me into a parent. He has made me a better parent than I ever imagined I would be. I do not say that with any amount of pride. I say that because it's true that my son turned my husband and I into real parents.

But, here I sit on the wee morning hours of his 11th birthday looking back at his infancy and his toddler fits that are several years in our past. I look at my son who is really looking more and more like an adolescent and young man than a child. And, he continues to consistently amaze us. This child has taught himself numerous computer programming codes. This started when he nabbed a book I bought for my own reference on html coding. He devoured it and then begged me to buy him a computer programming book on the language of Basic when we were at Goodwill one day. The book included a CD and was a college course book. However, Goodwill had it priced at merely one dollar. So, I agreed. He took that book home and read 21 chapters in one night. He has written games for the computer. He has written me games for Mother's Day, one where I had to shoot out love hearts to destroy the enemy. He is amazing with his comprehension and desire to write computer programs. He loves any books on computers, but especially enjoys the "For Dummy" books. He is far from a dummy. This child scored college level in vocabulary on his SATs in 4th grade. He is far from a dummy for sure. But, he loves these books because he loves the humorous manner in which they approach instruction. So, he has chosen his theme for his 11th birthday to be "For Dummies" books on computers.

This child is also my sensitive love bug of a boy. He loves to cuddle and have his hair played with. I used to put him to sleep as a toddler by rubbing his head. He has a heart for his mama and is quite often the first to realize when I'm worried, upset or sick. He also has a heart for his God. He is the first to pray for me or for a passing ambulance passenger at the drop of a hat.

I know that I am partial because I am his mother, but this child is uniquely special in design. When he was born, his eyes looked back at me and hooked me with love for the rest of my life. I'm glad he is the one who turned me into a parent. I'm glad he is my son.

Happy birthday, Graham!


  1. Happy Birthday young Graham! And many more even happier to follow!

  2. Oh my! I'm all teary-eyed now. I remember how he used to just stare at me as an infant and I could tell he was thinking deeply, even then. And I remember when, after hours of trying, I finally got a little smirk of a smile out of him. He was an adorable little boy and he's turned into a handsome young man. He amazes me with his intelligence and as we've often said, I can't wait to see what he does with it all. I hope he had a fantastic birthday - double "ones" is kinda cool :) Happy Birthday today and many more to come, Graham. "Aunt" Julie



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