It is Mother’s Day and I celebrate. I celebrate all of my children.
When I became so very ill after treatments, surgeries, and so many hospitalizations, I let myself lose hold of all of my many blessings. Most importantly; the ones that enabled me to be a mother to my beautiful children.
Becoming a mother happened early for me. I was 19 years old when I was given the news of my pregnancy. I was pretty far along, so it was weeks and an ultrasound tech informed me I was pregnant with a baby boy. Months later PLOT TWIST, I gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl. I named her Ashley Megan and she is nothing even remotely close to boy-ish.
The day she was born changed my life forever. As a child and a teen, I had never believed I was very important. I became important the day I became my beautiful daughter’s mother. I became fierce, focused and resolute that I would be the absolute best mother I could be for this beautiful baby girl. As far as I was concerned, it was her and I against the world.
I think the best and most significant night of my life was the first night after she was born. It was that night I realized, I was born to be a mother. The nurses told me to sleep, but I just couldn’t. I insisted my daughter stay in the room with me. I held her as she slept, wept happy tears as she wrapped her warm little hand around my pinky. It was the eve of Thanksgiving and we watched the snow fall in huge beautiful flakes. I have never felt such serenity in my life. I was a mom.
A few years later, I became pregnant with my son. I knew almost instantly, that I would be doing it all alone. As a mom, the practicalities never really entered my brain. There was a baby inside of me, that picked me to be his mom. He was a troublemaker from the start and tried to come early so many times, I practically had my own hospital room. But that’s Ben. You always know when he’s around.
From the moment he was born, he was ALL boy. I was initially a bit wary. What in the world did I know about boys? Fortunately, I just followed his lead. At the tender age of 23 months he tackled a wall after watching the Kansas City Chiefs play on TV, 18 stitches and a couple of years later, he began playing recreational soccer. He was younger than the rest of the kids but I offered to coach so they agreed to look the other way. He was tiny, but determined and really GOOD! That still makes me laugh.
When Ben was five, I met a single father of two little ones. Ages 3 and 4. I loved that he was doing it himself. He was a good dad. On my scale of 1 to 10; #1 being, “throw them out into the world and see what happens” and #10 being a “helicopter parent and parental stalker, so that even a splinter didn’t happen”, he was a negative 5 and I was a 20. Perfect! We dated with the kids and it was a blast! I loved Kirstin, she had just turned 5 and was such a sweetheart. She followed me everywhere, needing tons of hugs and love that I couldn’t get enough of. Zac was then 4, he wasn’t real sure of me. But I learned to make him laugh and then we were golden. To this day, I still tell their Dad, I fell in love with the kids waaaay before I fell in love with him.
Little did we know: He had two, I had two and then we would have two. We almost had a basketball team. And we both loved every second of it.
My 3rd son Jacob was the glue that brought our two families together. We became a family instantly. It was easy and scary, but fun and full of laughter and love. Jacob was always a happy baby. From newborn to now, his empathy for others runs deep. As a baby he was in love with everything. And every day was a new adventure. He could sit on a blanket in the front yard and pick grass like he had found gold. With Jake, you just couldn’t help looking at life differently. It was impossible not to. He was all things sweet, and still is. He was also very honest. Too honest at time. (Those are stories for the future.)
When we discovered my youngest Nicholas was on his way, we were both stunned! My daughter had made a comment about me suddenly eating Butterfinger candy bars by the busload, and I did the math.
I was so very blessed with him also. He was a 24/7 Mr. Crabby Pants for the first 6 months of life however one morning he just decided well enough of that and suddenly became quite the little charmer from that point on. He eventually turned into a cherub looking little devil. His blond curly mop and dimples were definitely deceiving but any trouble he found his charm protected him. He was always laughing and could make almost anybody smile. With his little crooked grin and an almost imperceptible tilt his head just so, you couldn’t help but laugh. He was our little rowdy rebel! Poor Jacob was usually his very patient target; Jacob would sit so still while his baby brother tried to pull his face off. (Yes, he did this…many times)
So today, I celebrate. My daughter Ashley is successfully employed in the Restaurant and Entertainment industry managing an multi-entertainment complex and works harder than anyone I have ever met.
My son Benjamyn, graduated college in 2015 with his sights set on being a Sports Broadcaster. He has broadcasted nationally and locally televised games, he currently works on Radio and just decided to return to school to get his Graduate Degree.
My son Jacob, is almost a high-school junior and very focused on his future. He remains the golden hearted protector of his siblings that he has been since day one. If you need a shoulder, Jacob has ten.
Lastly my youngest Nicholas, sweet, loyal and so intelligent, I sometimes think he was switched at birth. He is almost an eighth grader. Great grades, creative to no end and an incredible person. He decided from a young age, architecture was going to be his future, though I am certain with his talents he could be almost anything.
People congratulate me on having such great kids and I am at a loss for words every time. I certainly didn’t make them great, they just arrived that way. I was just fortunate to be the mom who was able to witness all of them find their way through this crazy thing called life. And what a ride!
I missed important parts of my two youngest children’s lives and carry such guilt. It was never intentional; I was just very sick. I lost whole blocks of time to illness, that I simply cannot remember. And for this reason, I celebrate my children today. I do not care how ill I get in the future; I will not let one more sweet second of their lives pass me by.
Thank you for letting me reminisce.
To all of the moms out there, watching their babies become people, Happy Mother’s Day, and congratulations on making good people.