I’m a firm believer in the philosophy that there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with FREAKING OUT every time you’re reminded that you’re children are growing up. Especially during birthdays.
Well, TODAY our oldest turns TEN! That’s a big deal. I’m having to TOTALLY re-write the parenting manual now. No longer is my purpose solely to “keep him inbounds” – by teaching him to obey Mom & Dad so that when he grows up he’ll know how to obey God.
But, added to that, is the daily battle to instill (for lack of a better word) “manly traits”. Characteristics like: bravery, courage, trustworthyness, truthfulness, faithfulness, forgiveness, leadership, discipline & hard work… all those kinds of things are not just ideas we talk about now, but they’re muscles to be developed now. It’s just crazy.
Some know our story, but most of “you” don’t. Prior to having four little cherubs, we were told by doctors that we probably wouldn’t be able to have kids of our own. We’d tried for two years, had miscarriages, took medicines, “practiced”, all to no avail. 24 LONG months went by of constant disappointment.
One day, COMPLETELY out of the blue, my lovely wife appears at the place that I was working, which was weird because she NEVER did that. I had a new job & didn’t want to be a bad employee having my wife hanging around, so she NEVER stopped by. But, one day she did. I came out to meet her at the car & she stepped out with a gift bag in hand and a smile. She just handed me the bag to open, which I did. I looked inside & pulled out the smallest newborn outfit I’d ever seen.
I smiled & looked back into her teary & excited eyes, and said, “Are you serious?” She nodded & we hugged & cried. We walked into the office & told EVERYONE and let them know that I was going to have to take the rest of the day off because I had some news to share.
We first went to my Mom’s work, which wasn’t far away & pulled the same surprise on her that my wife had pulled on me, which received the same reaction. We went down the list of family members & the few friends that we had at the time. We were ecstatic.
It wasn’t more than a year-and-a-half later that we had number two. Fifteen months later came number three. And ANOTHER 18 months and there were four. Each time was amazing and brings tears to my eyes even today. God has been too good to us.
We’re over halfway done with our responsibilities as parents with Austin & it’s terrifying. Terrifying to think we’re almost done. Terrifying to remember all the mistakes & hurt & disappointment I’ve given with him. But, it’s AMAZING to catch short glimpses of the young man that it seems that he’s becoming.
Granted, he’s NOT perfect. But there are days when he’ll attentively care for his brothers & take care of his Mom – WITHOUT being asked. There are days when he works so hard at school & with SUCH a great “hard-worker attitude”. There are times that he’s SO compassionate. There are a lot of times that he’s really funny. He’s just a good kid. I’m so proud of him. I’m so excited for him & for what God has in store for him in the years to come.
I’m so thankful for his salvation & I pray that by God’s Grace, Austin will continue to give his WHOLE LIFE to The One who deserves it & experience what it means to TRULEY live.
Happy Birthday, my son – with whom I am WELL pleased. Daddy loves you VERY much.