Today, nine years ago, I became a mom. I still remember how tiny that little guy was and how completely overwhelmed with love I was for him the very first time I held him.
Nine. Looking back on almost a decade. Looking ahead, less than a decade to go before he graduates, leaves home , and starts his own life. Parenthood goes WAAAAAY too fast.
I struggled when Junior was younger. He was an exceptionally happy, easy-going baby but morphed into a manic, destructive, and curious toddler. I literally could not leave him alone for a second. Either he was trying to crawl into our 50-gallon fish tank or he was dumping the entire contents of the refrigerator on the carpet. He proved so challenging when I was pregnant with my second child, Bellie, that I sunk into a deep and debilitating depression that lasted much of my pregnancy. I simply could not keep up with him.
He also possesses an extremely sensitive and intense personality. He is also somewhat of an empath, like me (he is very affected by others’ emotions and stress-levels). When we were going through a very uncertain time a few years ago (Hubby was laid off, we sold our house and were living in a series of rentals while we attempted to make a huge move back to the Midwest), Junior was a mess emotionally. He had to switch schools three times and felt very unsettled. It was so difficult for me as a mom to watch him go through the uncertainty of daily life and I still feel so bad that he had to deal with just how stressed out Hubby and I were.
Luckily, we got through that bad period and I have to say that I am truly enjoying parenting him now. I really love talking to him about what he is learning in school, his opinions on the new Star Wars movie, learning about his interests (Minecraft, Minecraft, and Minecraft), and listening to his crazy jokes.
The moral of this story: Parenthood definitely has its ups and downs. It has numerous phases. That mellow baby might turn into a difficult toddler, who might one day actually transform into a well-adjusted human being. As a parent, you do your best, try not to blame yourself too much for your kid’s shortcomings and truly enjoy the blessings that come with the “easy” times. And pray for those kiddos constantly and love them like crazy. Because this anniversary is one I am so grateful to be celebrating, for all of the trials Hubby and I have gone through as parents in the last 9 years. It’s the anniversary that celebrates my vocation of motherhood, without which I would not be half the person I am today. Happy birthday, Junior!