Six years ago tonight, tender, torn and unable to walk without looking like a cowboy too long in the saddle, I spent my first hours as a mother. Little did I know what was hurling down the tracks- had I known, I might have trembled in fear, and perhaps paused before lying down on the tracks.
My big, freckle-faced red-headed boy lies in his bed above, clutching, even in sleep, his beloved new Transformer robots. The day was a resounding success- and despite the necessary evil that are children’s birthday parties, everyone left happy and mostly not bleeding.
It was money well-spent to rent the local big-blow-em-up indoor bounce facility. For $100 we got to play for two hours, invite 12 friends, have the birthday party room, use of the velcro wall and two velcro suits, and all I had to bring was the cake. Yatzee! No mess at my house, 12 tired little boys, and one overwhelmed little Abby.
As I look at my now six year old boy- his long, bruised, battered and scabbed legs, his giant puppy-paw like hands, his cowlicky haystack of hair, I can’t believe it’s only been six years since he entered the world. He is pushing 4 feet now, wears a size 3 shoe and a size 8 pants. He tried to pick me up the other day- and he almost got me off the ground- much to my suprise. How on earth did this happen?
When did my tiny little miracle grow into such a… a… a big boy?
This child made me a mother. I have learned from him, tested my ideas on him, figured out what works, what was a good theory, what failed in the real world, and to ultimately throw all the parenting books away.
Sometimes I feel bad, since he is, and will continue to be, at the cutting edge of my parenting skills. His brother and sister reap the bennefits of his trailblazing. By the time they get around to things, Jeffrey has whacked his way through the parenting-ignorance-jungle and we’ve managed to make a little clearing.
There was a time I wondered why he was so headstrong, and what I could do about it- now, I know he needed that head full of concrete and stubborness so we could all learn to be a family. A gentler, meeker child would never have had the strenghth to weild the machete needed to create parents from the raw materials he was given.
I will be eternally grateful for the wild, stong, obstinant, fiery, brilliant spirit that is my oldest child. He made me a mother. I love you, baby boy.