It’s almost too much for me to bear.
On Monday, I wondered if I could manage to only post once, and as it turns out, I could not. You see, I badly wanted to continue the conversation on works, grace, faith, winning and pretending, but I also had a gigantic life event happen, as well. My heart is overflowing with, as Rob Base famously said, “joy and pain, sunshine and rain,” and cannot be restrained.
So, where ‘competing theologies’ is study and thought – this one will feel more like I’m reaching inside my own chest, pulling out my heart and showing it to you.
My son, Samuel, turned 13 Sunday.
How could this be? Just yesterday, I learned he existed. I was driving a box truck home, through Lebanon, with my lovely Angel on the phone. I was finally able to coerce her into taking the pregnancy test RIGHT NOW (!!!!) because I was 10 minutes (10 minutes!!!) away and 10 minutes is just waaaaaaay too long, when it comes to having your life altered forever. I had dreamed of the day forever, when I would discover that he was here. And when she uttered the two sweetest words, “it’s positive,” I pulled the truck over (because, safety first) and we wept together, so thankful, so thankful.
He made it to the outside roughly 39 weeks later – and this was yesterday, too. I held him, bathed him in my tears, while we prayed to the God that created him so wonderfully.
Yesterday, we brought him home and, at my first solo diaper change, he peed in my face.
The day I walked in the house as the Angel walked out, baby wailing, “He won’t stop, I have to get out!!” So, that day, yesterday, we laid next to each other on our spare bed for hours, both of us crying.
Yesterday morning, he went to kindergarten. And last night, he had his first baseball game. After the game, we had his 6th grade graduation, and then he slept on my chest, breathing so softly, tired from screaming at me over something or other.
And today, his feet smell like 1,000 rotten potatoes, he’s big and gangly, his voice cracks and his hair is so long like an animal in the jungle. His phone is in his hand and he’s texting, watching YouTube tube clips and playing video games (instead of the fun ones he played yesterday, like Wii Sports, he’s now playing first-person shooter games while I shake my head.) Today, we argue over deodorant and vegetables (to be fair, we did that yesterday, too.)
And today, he’s smart and witty, with the perfect sense of humor, loves weird facts and film scores. He’s the one I go to when I need wise counsel. He loves his friends and us – If empathy could be graded, he’d be off the charts. He reaffirms everyone’s faith in humanity.
If I had the choice, I would choose him for my son every time. I’d choose him for my best friend, too.
I’m thinking about that thing I once heard and always say in so many messages, “All change is loss.” And that’s as true as anything has ever been. Jesus said to His friends, “Do not hold on (another translation says cling) to me,” even though we want to, because we can’t, no matter how hard we try. Yesterday always becomes today, and it has to be mourned for us to truly live today – and today has all the blessings of its own.
I love the young man he is more than I can ever express, and I miss the little boy he was more than I can ever express. The only thing we can do is to be fully present, to not sleep through the little boy, not sleep through today, so that when it is yesterday, we can say, “Yes, I was there and it was The Best.”
I wish my baby, my sweetest boy, the happiest birthday.