You see, when Isaac was a baby, he was all mine. I mean, obviously Jim is his dad, but that boy was mine. I hogged him. I wanted to do all of the baths and all of the bedtimes and all of it. I couldn't believe this little human grew from Jim and I and then became his own little person to live and breathe and cry and coo in our tiny, little apartment. The miracle of it still blows me away. I remember sitting in our little hallway when he was just a tiny fellow and hormones were way out of order and postpartum depression was sneaking in. I sat on the floor and held him while I bawled to my mom on the other end of the phone line. "I can never be enough for him. He's so perfect and I could never live up to all he needs. He deserves someone so much better than me." On and on I lamented at all of my shortcomings and my abject inability to be a mother to a child so amazing.
Yet somehow, out of all the mamas and all of the babies, God picked us for each other. That's another miracle that still blows me away. The world continued on around us, but it was mostly white noise to me as I did the work of becoming someone I never knew I needed to be: a mom to a boy named Isaac. And he was mine. And it wasn't perfect, which I can admit even though the span of 15 years makes those exhausted, disoriented newborn feelings fade. But it was just how it was supposed to be.
He's not mine anymore. Not in the way he was then. And it's necessary and right, but it still makes me long for those sweet hibernation days. On his birthday, I allow myself to cry about where we've been and how quickly we zoomed away from it and how much I miss it even though I love here, too. It's a paradox I'll never understand. A heart-hurting, tear-inducing yearning for a time that has passed combined with an excitement and curiosity and joy about what is to come. The two pulls are almost equal, but on February 11, plus June 12, June 26, and August 22, the yearning wins.
He's not mine anymore. That's the hard pill for me to swallow. But the good news is that the world is getting more and more of a young man that I love and adore and pray for. A young man who is funny and well-spoken and caring and bright and dedicated. His life won't always be easy. His decisions won't always make sense to me. He'll stumble and fall and I'll want to jump in and save him like I did when he was mine. But I can't. And that's necessary and right, too.
To my new fifteen-year-old, Isaac, words can't express what you mean to me or how my life has changed because of your place in it. Thank you for being our guinea pig. I'm sorry we have no idea what we're doing as we fly by the seat of our pants. In spite of our many shortcomings, I pray that you always feel our love and support as you navigate this world and its immense beauty and its intense pain. (In many ways, I was right when I cried in my hallway about my inadequacies. None of us are ready for this!) I pray that you always feel God's presence guiding you and that you always listen to the quiet, insistent tug of God on your heart. It's a reminder that you are wonderfully and fearfully made. That you are not alone. That God has plans for your life. That you were created by a God and surrounded by people who love you and support you and want the best for you. Love you million times two, buddy.
Now, a bajillion pictures. Time, you are a thief. Boy, I love you.