I’m one of those moms who tends to go overboard with my kids’ birthdays. Elaborate cakes, carefully planned parties, and that oh-so-perfect gift. That being said, I had a little epiphany today–today being my son’s 11th birthday. As the memories came flooding back of the day he was born and the tear drops started forming, my left brain made a striking realization. Turns out that my “overboard” approach to celebrating these special days, has a lot to do with my own personal fear of my children growing up. So, to borrow a phrase from my mommy handbook…”you may not understand now, but I have my reasons.”
My little boy came bouncing into this world three weeks early after a healthy pregnancy turned troublesome. I was so ready following a month of bed rest, a week of being repeatedly induced, and swelling that made me practically unrecognizable. Our little bundle was gorgeous and perfect in every way. And despite some post-pregnancy bumps, we finally settled into parenthood and the real fun (work?) began.
Sean was an easy baby except where sleep was concerned. That kid hated to sleep and when he finally did fall asleep, it was never, EVER for long (a phenomenon that still holds true.) His saving grace was his sweet little brown eyes that sparkled in the most amazing way. Excuse my “mom-gush”, but that boy’s eyes “smile.” Even to this day, he will be as ornery as any boy can be and follow it up with this look that could melt just about anything…especially my heart. (Let it be noted that while these smiling eyes occasionally get him OUT of trouble, it’s the same smiling eyes that serve as his TELL when he’s trying to put one over on me.)
Like most kids, Sean has inherited qualities from both my husband and myself. He has a terrific sense of humor like his Dad. He’s such a funny kid with a quick wit and the ability to turn a phrase…especially when you least expect it! Fortunately, he’s a good student like his Mom and manages to keep his clownishness at a reasonable level and not get into trouble at school. Sean is a huge sports fan like his Dad and has enough good sense to choose the Kansas Jayhawks over every other team like his Mom. Sean loves to build things and has a knack for figuring things out sans instruction booklets…that’s a Dad thing. At the same time, he likes to watch ridiculous comedies (Kicking & Screaming, Even Stevens Movie or Christmas with the Kranks) over and over like his Mom.
So here’s where it comes full circle. I don’t just love my son. I really, truly like him, too…and thus, the overboard birthday parties. I enjoy baking him extra special chocolate birthday cakes, I like creating and planning parties that reflect his favorite things, and I put a lot of thought into his gifts…all to purposefully mark the day when God blessed me with his precious child, a child who despite my objections, continues to grow up. Let’s face it, time is ticking. And while I am perpetually celebrating my 22nd birthday (lol), my little boy is racking up the birthday candles and moving ever closer to birthdays that I won’t be able to plan. And it’s all coming too quickly.
Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with a gift more wonderful than anything I could have asked for. Happy 11th birthday, Sean. I love you. You are my sonshine…cheesy, but true.
Son, you outgrew my lap, but never my heart. ~Author Unknown