Sunday, August 22, 2010

Of birthdays and BIRTH days

It was around 3:00pm when I finally sat down to rest on Thursday, August 19th. I had been busy all day, preparing my son's favorite foods - mannacoti, salad, and a homemade red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I signed the cards I had so carefully chosen for him and placed them on the coffee table beside his gift. Then, as I sat there in the quiet, I received one of those rare and precious gifts that God gives me when I slow down enough to truly "be still and know....." I remembered the first time I held my son in my arms. I don't mean that I had a fleeting thought about Heath's birth. I mean I remembered - really remembered. I remembered in a way that was almost as if I were reliving the moment. I felt the softness of his skin. I smelled his sweet, baby-smell. I touched the down-like softness of his hair and marvelled at the way it grew. I remembered thinking, "He has 'boy' hair, with little hints of sideburns." And I saw his eyes - looking at me. Looking at me, as if to say, "Are you my mommy?" I felt his tiny hand as he reached for mine and held tightly to my pinkie finger. And I remembered my heart almost exploding with love for this tiny being. I remembered wondering how I could ever love him more than I loved him at that moment.

This gift - the memory of my son's birth - lasted only a few seconds, but they were priceless seconds; seconds that seemed to last a lifetime. And when it had faded, I bowed my head and thanked God for this precious gift. I thanked Him for the gift of this glimpse into the past. I thanked Him for the gift of the birth of my son, for the honor of watching him grow, and for the man he has become.

Throughout my pregnancy I had silently worried that I would not be able to love a second child the way I loved my daughter. I just couldn't fathom there being that much love inside one person to give. As I held my son in my arms for the first time and basked in the shear miracle of him, I knew these worries had been for naught because, already, I loved him with every fiber of my being - just as I loved his sister. I thanked God that, on my son's forty-first birthday, I had (once again) been wrong. I had come to love him more - even more - than I had on that long ago day, in the Summer of my life, when I held him in my arms for the first time. Through good times and bad, I have loved my children more with each passing day.

I had a lump in my throat as I thanked my Heavenly Father that love has no bounds; that it cannot be measured; and that we truly have an endless supply of love that seems to multiply every time we give it to another of God's kids. What a blessing! What a gift!