Before he was born he was almost taken. My body doesn’t respond to pregnancy in a normal manner. Without getting too technical my hormone levels don’t do what they are supposed to when I get pregnant and therefore it looks like I’m having a miscarriage, or an ectopic pregnancy, both of which I have had. I feel sorry for any doctor that has to take care of me because my body is a true anomaly. When I got pregnant with my oldest son, my first pregnancy that would ultimately go to term, I was scheduled to have a procedure done that would have basically terminated him-not intentionally AT ALL. My previous two failed attempts had been an ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage (and there were a few before that), so it was very appropriate that the doctors were being cautious with my life as well. The tests showed that there was virtually no him. The morning of this procedure my doctor wanted to do one last check, mostly to dot an I and cross a T. She picked up the wand. My whole body was shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t believe that this was happening… again. I was about to be put “under”, it was inevitable that it was going to happen, so in my mind I was thinking let’s just get on with it, I’m already broken. She was incredibly quiet that morning. The nasty jelly was moving across my belly and I had my eyes slammed shut to keep the tears from leaking out. She gently laid down the wand and ever so quietly said, “We can’t do this today. I see a halo and wings.”
Even now, as I write, tears start rolling down my cheeks all over again.
My angel child.
Tomorrow he and I are flying across the country to check out one of his top choices for colleges. I’ve known for a long time that his choice would probably be far. It’s who he is. So many people have gone before me on this crazy parenting journey. I appreciate their wise counsel and encouragement, but the truth for each of us is that until you’re directly experiencing it, you can’t fully feel the array of emotions that come at you. I’ve had to keep reminding myself that my job is to help him (them) to prepare his path, but ultimately it is his own. Letting go of the perceived ability to control situations for our kids in order to give them safety and security has been one of the hardest things for me to do.
I know that there are things that I could have done better for them. In so many ways, and at so many different times, I’m flying by the seat of my pants, wondering when the real mom is going to show up with the cape, and all of the right answers. In my crazy home my kids have this uncanny ability to ask you the most important questions or tell you that thing that you never thought you were going to hear out of them when you’re bent over washing the floor or something crazy like that. Hey mom your butt is in the air, I thought I would tell you….. I may be the only one but I feel like most of my parenting has been a combo of SO MUCH PRAYER, making it up as I go, and phoning a lifeline. A manual would have been helpful because this shit gets messy and I’m sorry to tell all of you with littles, it doesn’t get any easier… it gets REAL.
So many things are swirling through my head as we prepare this next year for his ultimate departure.
The truth is that I WANT him to experience life. I WANT him to pursue his passion and purpose. I WANT him to ultimately find love and and fulfill his dreams. I WANT the world for him.
Have I told him enough? Will he go knowing how proud that I am of his determination and desire in his life thus far. Does he know how much I love his leadership and compassion? Does he realize that even when I’m telling him to stop talking so much (he gets it from his mom) I really respect his opinions and love to hear him articulate different concepts. For all the ‘momming’ him that I do does he know that I don’t just love him, I really like him a lot.
I’m terrified of the what if’s. I fear bad decisions (even though I know they are inevitable). I worry about his tool box. Did I help him gather the right tools for anything that comes his way? I feel a volcano of raw emotion inside of my core, bubbling up, at the thought of him not laying down his head under the same roof when I go to sleep at night. There is peace and a sense of security when we are all home, in clean sheets, and cozy blankets, resting quietly. Will he feel safe wherever he decides to go? When he experiences the freedom and beauty of this amazing world, will he ever come home?
Have I given him enough? Too much? If push comes to shove will he follow the crowd or lead it? Does he know how valued and supported he is? Clearly, my head is spinning with one ultimate question: Is he going to be safe and happy?
There is no real answer except one of trust and faith: God’s got this. He’s his, and he has allowed me (us) to experience this treasured human being that we call ours. We have had the privilege of watching him develop, since day one. On that day I was given a precious present. A baby boy that may not have been, but that special doctor saw something miraculous when she expected to see nothing…. I see something too. Now it’s my turn… I see wings…. Fly baby, fly.