Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Time Marches On

Eleven years ago, in the wee hours of daybreak, a small child entered this world into the scared and eager arms of his parents. I remember looking down upon his little head, and marveling at how this tiny little creature could possibly be mine. I was overwhelmed with the giant responsibility of caring for this baby boy, and scared to death that I would screw it all up. After all, what did *I* know about raising children?

I will be the first to admit. It was hard. Harder still was trying to find the balance between job, significant other, baby and day to day life. Eventually the job went. While that was a little better it was still hard. Being a young parent is very difficult. It's hard to take care of a child when you are barely done being one yourself. You lack the knowledge and experience that age brings.

I was lucky. I was living at home, and my mother's help was right there at my fingertips. All I had to do was ask. She taught me how to take care of a new baby. Things that had never crossed my mind, she had done 5 times over and was a pro. I am grateful to this day that I had here there, no matter how hard it was to be there with our little family. Space, privacy, alone time.. were all things we lacked in the early years of our marriage. And that made it all even harder. But in the midst of it all, a child thrived, and grew into a wonderful little boy.

Today, as I watch him rock in my rocking chair, I realize that he's not a little boy any longer. He has grown into a wonderful young man. I asked him how it felt to be eleven. And as he answered the same thing I used to answer my dad every year (after I rolled my eyes), "no different".. I came to realize that adults ask that question for themselves.

He may not feel any different, but I do. I don't feel ready to have an eleven year old. I can't possibly be old enough, and how am I supposed to get through these crazy teen years? And then it occurred to me, these were the same things I was thinking eleven years ago when he was born. And looking at him sitting there, his mouth hurting from dental work (only a trouper agrees to dental work on their birthday).. I realize that so far we've done a pretty good job.

He might be a little cocky, and he might antagonize his sister every chance he gets, and he definitely is to smart of his own darn good... but underneath all that, he is a remarkable young man. Happy birthday Mr. Man. Your father and I are proud to call you our son.

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