Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Alas, we have someone (again) who turned “sweet sixteen” this past Sunday. Yes, it’s true, the time creeps up and reality sets in that another child is growing, not only taller, but the road to manhood is creeping up fast and furious. Not only has this son grown in unbelievable proportions height wise over the past two years, he’s become a gentle giant to me, his 5’ 4” mother. Instead of giving each other hugs where my chin hovers over his head, it’s become the opposite where my own head rests immediately under his now. The roles for towering over each other have become reversed. Given his towering height over his mother, he has become very protective of me, something akin to tender chivalry at play by instinct.

Vancouver Canucks all the way!

Having a good-natured son such as this one has been wonderful and now serving as the eldest of the gang still living at home, he’s been thrust into the natural order positioning of becoming mom’s next valued helper for those manly chores needing assistance, those household necessities.

He takes this position in the family home very seriously, also ensuring the house is locked up nightly and the alarm system activated before retiring, again instinctively protect his family. When his dad was out of town on business often in months past, he acted as protector of the fort, the man of the house in his father’s absence.

Holding the spot of big brother now.

His gifts and attributes are many; his love of hockey will surely have a spot in his life forever, walking in the same beloved steps of an older brother’s same love of the game.

Hockey guy (blue in front of the net)

He has such a fun sense of humor, and is a good sport when older brothers and sisters poke fun at him in healthy jesting moments. He also loves to spend time with each of them, bonding and catching up together.

All in the family

He's a son with a very good heart, sensitive in nature to the world around him, assisting often as an older sibling and protecting them when mom is not around.

Always a happy & smiley young boy!

It’s heartwarming to watch him with his younger siblings, but also to witness him in his role as Uncle, loving and cuddling with the young ones letting them know they too are so special. Like the rest of the family, for him, those young nieces and nephews are a gift and so very precious. His own “miracle” story has often been reiterated to him throughout the years, giving him immense food for thought on the special value and tremendous gift of life when a new baby enters the fold, either his own younger siblings or through his older ones over the past few years. His outlook and interior motives seeing babies as blessings too, gives way to outward expressions, offering affections and protections to the little ones. He's also so very kind to them all.

With each passing day the younger children all continue to grow, walking the road towards adulthood. Each stage of life brings new beginnings, items to look forward to, and there was no hesitation for him to be different by asking "when he could begin driving".

Reading a birthday card

As the conversation in our home turns towards another sixteen year old wishing to obtain a driver’s permit, I'll pose a few general questions here to fellow parents with situations such as this in your own family. (snicker)

  • When we were younger, wasn’t car insurance the same fee for adults or teens?
  • Wasn’t it a whole lot easier to learn our driver’s knowledge using the imperial system rather than using the metric system? Signs today are also without words!
  • Weren’t we so smart that the sense of leveled stages of driving wasn’t necessary?
  • When did having a new driver in the house become so complicated? Details such as losing a driver’s discount now really counts with increases in monetary insurance fees for the parents.
  • Or, how about issues such as changing the insurance benefits to allow those under the age of 25 to now drive a vehicle? Fees mount!
  • Why is it we always opted for add-ons, the pressing need to sign up each new driver with AAA benefits and acquire cell phones to sit under the driver’s seat in case of the need to use them?
  • Why is it every teen who enters into the realm of becoming sixteen automatically assumes he/she can take control of having a spin in their parent’s vehicle?
  • Why too do they think they are so very clever and able to pass a driving test without trouble, when the reality is it takes effort, studying, and much practice to become wise on the road behind the wheel of mom and dad’s car, a possible dangerous weapon at that.
  • What’s the rush to learn to drive when there is no vehicle to drive when the lessons are complete?

Solving the problem with this son as well as his older siblings before him, the prospect of a summer job appears inevitable. (tee hee)

“As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother's womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.”

~ Ecclesiastes 11:5

Welcome wee angelic baby dressed in white...

With thoughts of this son mentioned here, it would not be right to wish him a happy sixteenth birthday without being ever mindful of the fact he was proclaimed by my gynecologist doctor to be a “miracle child”, a wee babe who had no scientific reasoning as far as she was concerned, to even be conceived. The reality of the situation left us all gasping at the rationale of a doctor very suddenly shaking her head proclaiming such profound statements, and then there was the acceleration of a fetal ultrasound test where we could witness this was indeed a reality, a gift, a blessing of utmost thanksgiving in due order.

Hello little one, welcome at long last...

Backing up a wee bit, I’d spent almost five years being told over and over again no more children would likely ever come, something most people might be satisfied with, but then, we aren’t most people. (smile)

The stresses pounced into our young lives had messed my hormones to such a point as creating an impossibility for ever conceiving another child, or so I was told, and for three years I was pressured into the common sense medical consideration of shutting down my womb and having a hysterectomy. In my heart of hearts, I just felt it to be an impossible decision to make, an incredible intuition dinging and nagging at my senses that it just couldn’t be true. Protecting our wombs is something most people these days have no consideration of for possible future consequences, mostly by choosing things to prevent it, or health decisions with possible future implications eventually leaving them unable to have a child when they decide - it’s time. There are no guarantees! Yes, the doctor did continue to mention to me upon each and every visit I already had four children and my husband had had a life changing and serious health issue occur recently. But given our own parenting philosophies and sheer rationale, in all our married years we never wanted to “close the door” on future children, always being willing and open to new life, accepting those children waiting for us that God already had planned for us to just accept and say “yes” to.

The Traditional Birthday child's
breakfast out with mom & dad alone.

This same painful situation we would come to know again, not once but twice in the future, each time resulting in another huge time spanning quite a distance from the last birth of a new babe, except we discovered God had a funny sense of humor by supplying two and not only one each time, merely 17 or 18 months apart, until the very long, long wait to see if “this was it” once more. In addition, here we sit…knowing our eight are just great but it appears this will be all the gifts coming our way! Don't get me wrong, we are very content with our brood, and feeling so very blessed these days. Nevertheless, beginning with this sixteen-year-old son’s pregnancy confirmation, our fifth child, we instinctively chose not to shut the door to, not to take this doctor's pressured advice, instead working our way through the heartaches of infertility in later years, the sad spans where no babes were coming. We opted to wait on other timing beyond our control; hence we were able to have four more children we may not ever have been blessed with in our quiver. We can hardly begin to imagine life without them all!

When the doctor purposely left us speechless, assuring us there was no rhyme nor reason this child should EVER have been conceived, and having her note on my medical file he was “a miracle baby”, just try to imagine how our hearts soared and our heads reeled. God is good! Moreover, it was a beginning to us, the chance to seize every new pregnancy with happy hearts and full fervor, never again taking something such as the random idea of bringing along another baby into the fold as a something we took for granted, and our attitudes were never negative, no not ever! Although ours and our children’s hearts and attitudes were in positive acceptance always of continued family growth, not everyone we knew chose to feel the same way as we did. However, despite the rude and often cruel jokes at our expense, we pressed onward and decided however many would come, they could. As a testimony to date, no one can honestly view our family and make any mention of our decisions being poorly made. Vive la difference!

“Make them welcomed and they will come”…smile…

Moreover, they do continue to come
with grandchildren!