I'm not doing so well with the poetry writing today. I keep hitting backspace more than any other key. I suppose that means this isn't really an ode, but I'm not changing the title...it's the only clever thing I've written in an hour. :-)
How do I sum up fifteen years of emotion in a short and sweet blog post?
How do I begin to share what it's meant to be your Mama?
I find myself often lingering in the sad, sappy, sentiment of how the time has gone too quickly and I want the moments back. An instant later, I am relishing the present and looking forward to seeing you grow into a man.
It's a curious thing, this Mama gig. Full to overflowing with every emotion imaginable, sometimes all (or nearly all) of them at once.
As I look UP now to see into your eyes, I'm captivated by what I see there...
The twinkle that was there when you were a toddler is still there. I hope the things of this world never dim it's shine.
One look takes me back...
To the time you picked up a screaming newborn Rocklin, holding onto nothing but his sleeper and proceeded to carry him down the hall while telling him "it okay, Rocky. Jerald Thomas not let you go."
As I quickly pulled him from your tiny grip, secretly relieved that you didn't drop him on his head, you smiled and said "see? tol' you I could take care of him."
A moment later, and I'm remembering how you would wait at the window for daddy to come home. You couldn't tell time in a traditional sense, but you knew exactly when to head to that window every day. Fifteen years later, even when it sometimes annoys me, I secretly LOVE that you still wait for your daddy to come home. The predictability of a set time is long gone, but still you wait every night for that familiar sound of his work truck. Just as you did as a toddler, you race to open the door and be the first to say "Hi, Daddy."
My mind continues to wander down memory lane, dusting off cobwebs and remembering good and bad...and I can always see that Jerald twinkle...even in the hardest times...
When I lay on a hospital floor sobbing and begging God to let Uncle Aaron live. You rescued me in that moment when a not quite 4 year old you bounded over and said, "I'm gonna miss him too, but you don't see me cryin' about it. Get up!"
When Pop-pop Salvation Army died and you asked if you could please sing at his funeral, because he liked to hear you sing.
So, very many memories to cherish. So, many stories to share.
Your love for your siblings, your kindness, your excitement, your curiosity, your strong will...so much more stands out as I recall each moment.
This road hasn't always been easy for either of us.
It's at times been long, twisty, rough terrain.
It's been full of pit stops, pot holes and wrong directions.
I'm sure as we navigate these next few years towards adulthood there will be more rough patches to come.
There are still so many unknowns and uncertainties.
Yet, as we celebrate fifteen years with you, the joy overflows and covers every inch of every difficult moment.
I don't wish the hard stuff away. It's a huge part of what's made both of us who we are, but I sure am glad for the shining joy that makes it all seem a dim, distant, small part of our life.
I'm not sure there is much else I could say, even if I had hours to sit here.
What I really want you to know can be summed up like this...
You have been a delight since the moment we first knew you were on the way.
You have challenged us, perplexed us, amazed us, overwhelmed us inspired us and fulfilled us in ways I don't think I'll ever be able to share.
It has been a privilege to be your Mama and I am thankful for the gift of these fifteen years to watch you grow and change and become a fine young man.
More than anything else I've written, I want you to know this...
You are loved so very much. As you are...for who you are.
Happy 15th birthday, Jerald! I hope this year is everything you dream it will be.