On this very day, nine years ago, I received one of the best blessings a person could ever receive.
I went to Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital’s Birthing Center at 7:40 in the morning. I was over forty weeks pregnant. My firstborn did not want to come out. Who could blame him? I am sure it was warm and cozy in there, and he was eating REALLY good. (Too good, as a matter of fact. I have no one to blame for myself for all of the weight I put on during both of my pregnancies. I took that whole “eating for two” entirely too far. I was eating Burger King Whoppers with extra tomatoes almost daily. That was my thing. And Slurpees–incidentally, my boy was 7-11 when he was born–7 pounds, 11 ounces, LOL).
They put me in one room, then moved me to another. I got IVs and they started the Pitocin. For awhile I was okay, even okay enough to take a short nap, but then it wore off and those contractions kicked in STRONG. But I had an epidural, and although it wore off at the very end, my labor with my boy was easy-peasy.
At the end of it, I looked in wonderment at what God had done for me. I could not believe something so beautiful had come from me. Seven pounds, eleven ounces, 19 and 3/4 inches long, he was rushed away before I even got to hold him. They thought something was wrong with his little heart. He ended up being in the NICU for a couple days, but, to God be the glory–the problem they had thought would require surgery went away on its own.
We named him Jayden Matthew, but a better name for him is Sunshine. He is pure sunshine. Every single day he wakes up with a brand new sunny resolve and disposition. It does not matter what happened the day before–he wakes up sunny. Even moving from one daily occurrence to the next, he has this super metabolized resilience and if he gets sad, he does not stay sad. He finds joy in the smallest things and does not ask for much. He is a kind, smart, sensitive, thoughtful, caring, encouraging little boy. He has always been easy-going and just happy to be alive. I am happy that he has made it to nine years today, although I miss my sweet, chubby little curly-headed baby. It hurt that his best friend, his hero, his Granddad, wasn’t here to see him, but he held up remarkably well. I think his little birthday party at the bowling alley with about twelve of his little classmates helped 🙂
I am glad he had a good time, but boy am I tired, and my head is trying to hurt. It was quite the task to supervise fourteen kids on three lanes. When it came time to eat, we had to pour drinks, and everyone wanted something different, of course 🙂 Then the woman who cooks the food for the grill was late, and when she got there, we found out they do not make large pizzas as they used to–only small individual pizzas. So we ordered a ton of chicken wings and fries, and they were a big hit with the kids. We weren’t allowed to take the cake inside, but the kids bowled, ate, sang happy birthday, and left. Next year, MAYBE Jayden can have a party where my husband and I don’t have to do so much 🙂
Everything that happened today made my admiration for my husband just quadruple. He pretty much decided what kind of man and what kind of father he wanted to be on his own. He didn’t have much growing up, and instead of being bitter about it, he has made it his point to give his kids everything he did not have when he was growing up, often at his own expense. I am sure he was exhausted as he drove into work this evening. Yet, he went back and forth to the front desk to get bumpers for the lanes, check on the food, pay for shoes, etc.., picked up cupcakes for Jayden’s classmates this morning before he even had any sleep, and drove us all the way out to United Memorial so Jayden could pay Granddad a birthday visit as his resting place.
Lord, I thank you for this day. I thank you that you blessed me with my children. I thank you that you have allowed my son to overcome his initial obstacles and make it to nine years old today. I thank you for the person he is. I thank you that your love shines through him. I thank you that he is a saved person and I pray that you will continue to protect him and guide him. Protect and guide his little friends that came to support him this evening, and their parents and guardians. Help all of us adults so that we can do better at making this world a better place for our sweet children to grow up in. They are not failing us; we are failing them. I thank you for giving my husband the means to make the party and the trip to Kalahari happen for our son. I thank you for making my husband into the wonderful father that he is. I pray that you will continue to lead us as we try to raise our children according to your principles. We all need your strength still as we grieve my Dad–so many unanswered questions. Please be with us. Please be with my brothers and sisters in Christ, strengthen them as they do your work. Please use us to reach the unsaved. We will give your name only all the honor and glory. In Jesus’s name, Amen.