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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rapidly Approaching Teen Years

Today is the birthday of my very first child.  As old as this number makes me feel, 12 years ago tonight we were welcoming the very first newborn to grace our lives.  With gusto, this little 7 lb. 10 oz. wonder would turn us into parents.

Child development classes in high school and study of childhood psychology to earn my Human Services degree in college did not even begin to touch the surface of what started on this day 12 years ago.  My son was screaming to the point of turning purple before he was even completely birthed.  Though we carefully planned out this gorgeous nursery to welcome him, he would soon let us know in no uncertain terms that he had no intention of ever using the crib.  This little wonder changed our lives and continues to shape it.

Today he is on the verge of teen-dome.  Next year at this time we will be welcoming a teenager into our house.  I will admit that he has already exhibited signs of being a teen.  Or rather, more like a 20-something year old.  I will also admit that while he is still a child in so many ways, he is amazingly smart beyond his years.

He learned to read fluently at age 3.  I say he taught himself to read because really he led me.  It really started because I needed something to keep him from tearing up my house while I would sit and nurse his new sister.  To keep his hands out of trouble elsewhere in the house, I would grab my bag of foam bath letters and my Discovery Toys ABC tape (yes cassette tape) before sitting down to nurse.  Sitting next to me by the beautiful glider we bought to deck out his unused nursery almost 2 years earlier, he would listen to the tape as he handed me these foam letters telling me what they said (like a cow says "moo" - he would say, "a 'H' says "huh" and so on).  Before I knew it, he was begging to read books like Dick and Jane.  And, then my favorite (the Hannah story from his Child Bible).

He now devours books - any books, usually college textbooks - on any and every computer language available.

There are times I feel like we are looking at him as if through a small hole I once carved in the snow, as if I cannot see the whole picture or questions I long to see and have answered.  We are walking into our last year of a household yet to experience the teen years.  We approach this with fear, trepidation, excitement and wonder.  We have heard that there are some families who actually get through the teens years unscathed.  With the force this child entered the world and the manner in which he constantly reforms who we are as his parents, I'm sure we will exit these years with a new relationship.  All I can hope and ask for is that the foundational love and respect remain and that there is a relationship throughout these upcoming teen years.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your son, and a beautiful expression of mother love. I esp. loved this line:

    "There are times I feel like we are looking at him as if through a small hole I once carved in the snow, as if I cannot see the whole picture."

    My oldest is now 14. I don't think we're going to get through the teen years unscathed, but I do think that it's impossible to erase the foundation we've laid for him, and that that foundation will continue to give us (and him) strength.