Tag Archives: moms and sons

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 If you were a boat, my darling
A boat, my darling
I'd be the wind at your back
If you were afraid, my darling
Afraid, my darling
I'd be the courage you lack

If you were a bird, then I'd be a tree
And you would come home, my darling, to me
If you were asleep, then I'd be a dream
Wherever you are, that's where my heart will be

-The Boat Song JJ Heller


I boastingly announced to Hayden last night that this time eighteen years ago, I was in labor with him. I have an honor badge, with him more than the others, that I pull out the night of October 28 annually. I started labor contractions that were consistently around ten minutes the night of the twenty-eighth. We were at a revival at the Baptist church in Iredell. The contractions stayed the same all that night.

They came like clockwork the twenty-ninth too. I sent Jason on to work hoping that as soon as I sent him, he'd have to come back. I taught Mission Friends that afternoon grimacing from discomfort every few minutes. By that evening I was fed up. I took a walk down the dirt road at my parent's house with my nephew, Brent. It wasn't an enjoyable walk. I was on a mission. I wanted that baby to be born.

My mom had made hot dogs for us and I remember taking my frustration out on my frankfurter. Usually a plain Jane hot dog eater, I squirted an unreasonable amount of mustard on the dog. And I ate it tauntingly. The mustard, I believe, responded accordingly as my contractions shortly thereafter intensified. Jason and I headed to the hospital, bags in the back, for what turned out to be a long night.

By this time I had already been in labor for twenty-four hours. I was having hard contractions every two to three minutes but wasn't progressing as I needed to. They had broken my water and used other measures such as Pitocin to move things along. But unbeknownst to us, this baby, whose sex we did not know, was NOT in a hurry. God love him, he's still that way.

Jason watched the paper roll as it charted each and every contraction with a black jagged mountain. I remember a few times him saying "That wasn't a bad one". (So wrong…) There are no good ones. Finally, the morning of the thirtieth, our dark-headed bright-eyed boy entered the world taking his first breath.

I remember being overcome at the instant connection I had with the wrinkly, blinking face that looked right at me like, "I know who you are, I'm here.".

I also remember Jason's acclaiming statement.

Oh honey, I'd do that all over again.


After safe seconds had passed, the doctor told Jason he was lucky he hadn't gotten slapped to which the nurses laughed knowingly. It's funny though, despite my just having gone through the worst pain I have ever encountered in my life, I knew that I would. Holding that bundle that was crafted for MY arms, I would gladly do that all over again. Maybe without the mustard and maybe I'd convince the doctor to give me the epidural earlier so that I might have enjoyed it for more than ten minutes before birth. Just maybe.

But then again, pain was part of that beautiful mystery I held in my arms.

Hayden turns eighteen tomorrow. And much unlike the labor pains, those years have passed so very fast. Like the jagged highs and lows of contractions mapped out on paper, so have been the days. Laughter and happy times mixed with sorrow and times of difficulty. And always, always joy and anticipation of what is to come.

So now I'll continue to answer your SOS texts while they come.

I'll fix your favorite dinner while you sit at the table.

I'll, to your dislike, ask if you've studied for that "Moisture in the Atmosphere" exam.

I'll shake my head when you come back into the house two seconds after you leave because you forgot something.

I'll fill my morning hours with boxes of pictures of you with the smile that was so big, your cheeks squeezed your eyes shut.

I'll try not to begrudge those days past.

I, without hesitation, would do it all over again, but these todays are equally beautiful.

And splendid days are yet to come.

Am I sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21



It's ten days before your seventeenth birthday.  I find myself eating up bits of time we get to spend together and letting go things I once thought important like whether or not there are dirty socks under your bed.  I've always hoped I'd be able to teach you everything you need to know, and that you'd learn and practice everything I'd taught you.  Funny though,  the years have passed quickly and you still have a world of learning before you.  However, you left and will continue to leave, an indelible mark on my heart.  Oh how I've learned from you; I could tell you a hundred life-impacting ways.  But I think I'll keep it light.

Ten Things I've Learned From You:


10. I've learned that it's ok to not be in a hurry.  Sometimes we need to make time to slow it down, so as to glory in our surroundings. We don't always have to move "like a cheetah" even though that's all I told you when you were a preschooler stopping for every bug and rock.

9. If dessert is good enough, it's totally acceptable to lick your plate.... or your fingers.  It might make the person who made it feel good knowing that you enjoyed it so much.

8. I've come to know that even the most blunt and innocent objects (like a glass of water) can be turned into weapons of sibling torture

and that chair railing is the perfect spot to stick that wad of gum you may want to chew again tomorrow.

Taken somewhere between broken arm #1 and broken arm #2
Taken somewhere between broken arm #1 and broken arm #2

7. I've learned what a broken arm looks like, without needing an x-ray

6. It's never too early to have a love for philosophy/psychology; things like what makes people tick and who makes the world go round.

Dr. Phil Birthday Party Age 8
Dr. Phil Birthday Party Age 8

5. Nothing good happens after midnight, except for mother/son conversations about life.....just because.

4. You can never have too many pocketknives

or jugs of milk.

3. I've learned that homemade gifts crafted from ordinary things, like a BB gun and an empty can of Dr. Pepper are the best gifts a mom can get. The flattened framed piece of aluminum bearing the word "Mom" in BB enforced holes is the most delightful piece of art I own.hug

2. A hug is truly a healing agent.

1. You can fit a bed, dresser drawers, a loveseat, a small entertainment center with a sizeable flat screen and a recliner in a bedroom, but you couldn't fit more love in this mom's heart.

Happy last ten days of being sixteen!