I am up late...crying...remembering...trying to be okay that my baby is turning 13 today. I thought I would share him and allow you all to watch him become a 13 year old with us.
Elijah came to us full of smiles and giggles from the get go. He has rarely had a bad day. His joy filled my days and made them pass so quickly. When they put him on my belly I couldn't believe he came out of me. I couldn't believe that I had made something so perfect. A love affair was born that day in my heart. I loved him with a hunger to know him more, to teach him, and to live each day fully. I never put him down. I never put him off on anyone else. He was MINE and I was HIS!
I spent everyday kissing him and tending to him. That love grew each moment and changed each moment just as quickly as he did.
I watched my new husband become a father. I watched Elijah fall in love with not only me, but his daddy.
I shared him with my Ninny Austin one day long ago. We would move soon after this photo to the D.C. metro area. I wonder what my Ninny would think of me having a 13 year old. She hasn't been with us for some time.
I remember days of not showering or eating. Out went the latest fashions and the cares I had about myself. Some days I was exhausted. Nothing prepares you for the exhaustion. But then again, no one tells you how delicious it is and how much you will crave it. In a moment one of those moments were captured. Me in a quiet restful moment with a baby who had been screaming now asleep. Did I dare move?
Matthew learned what it was to be his dad. He learned what it was to love someone so much.
Papaw also held our sweet first baby. Time moved on and Papaw was called home as well. I was so proud when he loved on him. He was so tender with him. He just sat there and looked at him. That is what the men in that family do with such precious creatures.
Before I knew it the newborn was gone and he was replaced with a wee person full of character.
I never ventured far from my love. He was the type of baby that loved for me to hold him and kiss him. If I wasn't holding him I was on the floor with him.
That first birthday came upon us so swiftly. We celebrated it alone in Maryland in our little apartment. It was perfect to us.
Days passed and we celebrated and loved one another.
The baby became a boy.
He enjoyed everything we did together. This one instance was a trip to the pumpkin patch. His first trip to one.
A new baby brother was added and he loved him from the start. He was with us for the homebirth and was my little doula. :) He still loves birth to this day. He has been one of my biggest supporter's when it comes to me working on my midwifery license.
The years melted off the calendar and we were full steam ahead in our homeschooling. He and I have learned together. I have made many errors and he has shown me how to be a good teacher. I thank him for putting up with me as a novice every step of the way. Somehow he still tells me I am the smartest person he knows. If he only knew...
His love for electronics wasn't far behind. I remember how hard it was at first for him to play his leapster. It wasn't long and he was a pro on his first DS.
We took time to catch snowflakes in our deep south home. He still remembers the snows in Maryland. How different this boy here is from that baby who played in the northern snows once upon a time.
He learned to ride bikes and scooter's.
He made friends he has kept since he was a very young boy. He learned to treasure others that God put on our path.
He raised a puppy all his own.
His costumes stopped being ducks and goats and turned to prince pirates.
He developed a sense of humor all his own.
He let go of his early fear of heights and the unknown and learned to embrace anything and everything new.
My baby who ate what was put in front of him became a boy who is a HUGE FOODIE!
The toy cars made way for spy gear and legos.
He welcomed his second brother with us around this time last year. He is more of a second daddy to little Noah than a brother. He is always tending him and teaching him. Noah adores him.
Now the baby who was always on my hip now seems to always have a baby on his. I have to make him put him down.
Still waters run so very deep. This young man has ideas that astound me. He has come up so far with so many inventions...too bad they have all been invented. He is an old soul, a boy before his time.
The baby became a young man.
There is nothing like your first baby. No other baby afterwards is as precious in certain ways. There is no hurry, no where to be, and you can lay in bed snuggling for as long as you please. Your every moment is free for one person. The bond is so deep and strong. For the first time in your life your heart is walking around outside of you. You feel every ache and pain. You also feel every joy of theirs probably more fully than they do.
Nothing can prepare you for falling in love with your child.
Nothing can prepare you for the heartaches.
Nothing can prepare you as you see the day slowly coming up to the age of 13.
And nothing, nothing, nothing can prepare you the next five years you already see zipping through your head.
I see the driving lessons tomorrow, the girlfriends who will take his heart from mine in a year or two, and the graduation I will have prepared him for. Packing him up for college. Worrying about his diabetes when he is not in my home those first few years.
My time, his time, our time is so precious now. More so than ever before. I urge myself to gather up all his hugs and kisses each day. I need to spend each moment with a wakeful awareness that this time is fleeting.
My dear sweet boy, I have loved you with an everlasting love. My heart was born the day you were born. I have held you close. I have let you go. You have come back. We have argued. We have laughed. We have cried. We have mourned so many things together. You make me smile. You astound me. I think you are so amazing. No one is you and you are most certainly no one else, my dear.
Thankyou for being mine. All those years ago you picked us to come to. You could have went to anyone. Why God sent you to us is so clear to US. But why he graced us with your dynamic presence I will never ever understand. We needed you. I pray these next few years are full of the good stuff. Live big just like you know how to. Never let anyone take your joy. You were always smiling and I pray you do until the moment your a old man and leave this earth.
I am simply in love with you, my firstborn. Happy 13th birthday! I know you are so excited! I can't wait to celebrate with you.