Thirty years ago I was more than 50 lbs heavier than I am now. Just about this moment I was lying in a hospital bed…..waiting.
The day began around 2am when my water broke. I had no idea what to expect. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time.
Even though there had been nine months to plan for this, it took me by surprise. I was 23 years old, barely figuring out life myself. Bob called the doctor, just as we had been instructed. Being the elder between us, he was normally more level-headed in these kinds of situations. Not that night.
The doctor told us to be at the hospital at 6am. Bob put me in his old pick-up truck for the drive to the hospital – instead of his cute little sports car. It seemed appropriate at the time even to me. He packed as many towels around me as he could find just in case the water kept flowing.
We later learned the little old lady across the street had watched the whole thing….Bob loading me into the truck, packing towels around me. She said, “Why did he take you in the pick-up truck?”
Nineteen hours I was in labor. That child didn’t give it up and join us until 9:30pm, May 12, 1983.
I asked the nurse at least a dozen times, “How much did he weigh?” A dozen times she told me 8 lbs, 9-1/2 ounces.
Maybe Dads never admit this, but I think they all kind of wonder, “Is this kid really mine?” When this little boy was born, the only thing they could have asked was, “Who is this child’s Mom?” As time went on, there is no doubt who is his Mother.
This child and I could be twins. We like the same things, we say the same things, we think the same things. We are two peas in a pod. This didn’t always make life easy.
In some ways we grew up together, I as a Mom and he as a little person. We traveled a lot, by plane, by train, boat and car. We talked, and talked, and talked, especially on these trips. These were wonderful years.
Then briefly, for what seemed like an eternity, he was a teenager.
He stole my car – for the whole weekend. He wore his pants “that way”, like they were going to fall right off his butt. We moved one time and the movers asked for a trash bag when they were packing his room. It wasn’t for trash of sorts. He had cut a hole in his mattress and stuffed empty beer cans in it. Good lord, I thought I would die.
He dropped out of high school and it was all his Dad and I could muster to get him to take the GED. He was so mad at me but I forced him to go. He refused to study before the test. He almost aced it. I was so mad at him. He could have been anything he wanted to be. Life could have been so much easier….for both of us.
That’s not the way it was meant to be.
He asked me one day if I would loan him enough money to pay his cell phone bill. I told him I would, but only if he joined the Navy. Check Mate.
It took several months, but he finally realized I wouldn’t relent and he went about joining the Navy. They told him his blood pressure was too high. He had to work hard to get this under control and pass the physical. Finally he wanted something bad enough to work for it. Finally he was growing up.
He made it through boot camp. He got hurt, needed surgery. We were there. My husband took a picture of us just after he left the hospital. This picture haunted him because he realized he was overweight. He lost over 100 pounds. Yes, amazing. He said to himself, “I don’t like this.” And he fixed it. I was so proud of him.
This is life as a Mother. It has ups and there are downs. Nobody pats you on the back and says you’re doing a good job, keep it up. You lie your head on the pillow at night and say, “I love that child.” Sometimes that’s enough, and sometimes you worry a little more.
His hands look just like his Dad’s hands, he grins like his Dad. He thinks his hair looks just like his Dad’s hair.
He’s 30 years old today, Mother’s Day – May 12, 2013. He is just like me. He is my child, I am his Mother.
Nothing could be more perfect.