Monday, January 14, 2013

12 years ago...

this weekend has been a series of ups and downs...a perfect representation of real life.
but last night, we celebrated this kid.
he turns 12 years old 10:28am to be exact.
i remember that day...12 years ago, today.  i remember it like it was yesterday.
and this day...the day he turns 12...the first day of the last year before he is a teenager...was the furthest thing from my mind.  but here it is.  and it's hard to put into words how it feels.  certainly there is pride in the growth over these last 12 years:  the physical...the emotional... and most importantly, the spiritual.  and when birthdays roll around, the common thought is,
"what can i do for him?  what can i get for him?  what will make him feel special?  what will make him feel celebrated?  what will make him feel loved?
so...we ask.
"what do you want for your birthday?  what do you want to do to celebrate?  who do you want to be there?  what do you want to eat?  what kind of cake?"
this year...his answer was different.
my questions were met by, what seemed like, indifference.  and i was sad.  and i, somehow took this personally.
"what do you mean you don't want anything????  why don't you want to celebrate with us????  there is NOTHING that you would like????  we all love you and want to celebrate with you...and you're acting like you don't care!!!  don't you realize that this is the last birthday of true childhood for you????  don't you realize what this means to me????  i have done my best to make every birthday so special for you and now you don't want me to?"
geeeesh.  only i could make his desires for his 12th birthday celebration about me.
so...we talked.
and he shared his heart with me.
and i finally understood what he was saying.
"i have too much,"  he said.
"i don't need anything.  and i don't want money wasted.  i feel like i would rather do something for someone else," he explained.
"i want people to give me money.  and then i want to take that money and do something with it for people who need it more than me.  i think of the kids in the hospital that are sick...and i think of the homeless people who live on the street...and i think how unfair it is.  and then i think that i don't want anything else for myself.  i have too much.  and they don't have anything."
and with that...his eyes welled with tears that threatened to spill over onto his cheeks.
i looked into the eyes of my first born child with wonder and amazement...just like i did 12 years ago after they swaddled him and placed him in my arms for our first, quiet moments together.  i fell hard for him.  again.
and last night, we celebrated simply.  aiden made him a homemade card that had two of her carefully pressed and folded five dollar bills in it...the only money she had wadded in her hiding place.  my parents gave him money with generous and humbled hearts.  and i lit 12 candles on his cake.  and at our simple celebration with family...where the only gift given to him was money to donate where he chooses...i realized why i had wanted to give him a gift so bad.
maybe...just maybe...if i could give him the perfect gift...and the perfect would somehow pay him back for the gift he gave me 12 years ago.
12 years ago...he made me a mother.

1 comment:

Meredith S. said...

tears. Happy Birthday Colton! more tears. hugs. Wow, you've got some of the best arrows out there.