How is it possible? That’s the thought which runs through my mind this school year. How is this possible? How did we get to this point? Where did the time go? I started my back to school reflections for Charity’s linkup at The Wounded Dove, but there just seemed to be so much in my heart this year.
I don’t remember having this great of a desire to just stop time before, to either rewind or drop everything right now and go hug my children, but as I write this in the predawn hours, I’m guessing none of them would be thrilled by my climbing into their beds, snuggling up next to them, and squishing their little faces or patting their little butts like I did when they were little.
I’m guessing the older kids would really get “creeped out” by my saying that.
I’m going to start my back to school reflection with Troy because he’s my first – and he is also the one who will be leaving me soon. He’s the one I know has only a few hundred more days left under my roof. Starting his senior year makes me sharply intake my breath and hold it, afraid to exhale as I think back to Troy’s beginning…
It started even before he was conceived and seems like it was just yesterday that I lost that first Baby to an ectopic pregnancy and was wondering if I’d even be able to have children. It seems like just yesterday the doctor told us we’d have an 80% chance of not being able to have a baby (How he came up with that number, I’ll never know, but God sure proved him wrong!) More than anything in the world, I wanted to be a Wife and Mother and so I prayed, and we took temperatures and checked timing exactly three months after the loss of that first Child, to try conceiving again.
Little did we know I would get pregnant right away with a very wanted, very precious, very Loved Little guy.
Where did the time go?
It was just yesterday that the AFP came back announcing that Troy was at high risk for Down’s Syndrome and the doctors were pushing me to have an ultrasound, which I denied because of the (minimal) risks to the Baby. I couldn’t take that chance especially after having lost the first so shortly before Troy. Besides, I knew that, whatever happened, however that Baby turned out, he would be Loved and have a purpose, that he had been planned by God.
An ultrasound wouldn’t change this.
Downs Syndrome wouldn’t change this.
It was just yesterday that Baby had febrile seizures, rode off to kindergarten, lost his lunchbox for the fourth time each week, hid under the slide all day during hide and seek,…I could go on and on.
All those times that Baby needed me.
Too many times when that baby, as the oldest Boy of the four we’d have in six years, would have to figure things out on his own because I was busy with younger children or building our house or working.
And, even though I know it’s totally normal and I am really fortunate that he is so wonderful and good to me, I wonder if I had done things differently if he would not laughingly “stiff arm” me when I reach out to hug him, if he would hug me back more affectionately if only I’d spent a little more time with him, if only I could rewind…how different would our lives be?
And I think of all the big things we’ve missed out on, of how much I wish I’d been able to do with him to make his life magical, of how little time I have left to teach him the really important stuff like putting the toilet seat down. How is it possible that he hasn’t figured out some of this? How is it possible that I didn’t spend the time teaching him this?
But then I also look at that baby now, my Troy, my 17 year old, my baby, my child, my child who isn’t a child but who has become a man seemingly overnight and definitely over the past year. My son who used to sit with Matt in a large cardboard box for hours making silly faces out at me from windows I’d cut in the sides, how nobody could make Matt laugh the way Troy could. I remember how Troy scolded me for telling him to steal the ball in his first soccer games because, “It’s not nice to take things away from people,” and Troy who recorded “Grandma Got Run Over by Beer Truck” and used it as his ringtone in 6th grade bringing us real laughter in our darkest hours. I remember that it was Troy who made me feel better when I wanted to run up to Boy Scout camp and bring my babies home.
I am amazed at how Troy has grown and matured and strengthened himself and has become an amazing young man even while still somehow managing to drive me crazy at every turn.
How is it possible to hold on just a little longer?
My Baby is now 17 and this past year I watched him grow and change, and some of those changes seemed to happen overnight. He returned from a week long NRA Youth Education Summit, an amazing experience in Washington DC, stronger, better, more mature, not changed, but different. He came back more Troy.
Change means growing and to do that it means moving away from Mom.
How is this possible?
I think back to that child and the AFP that scared me so much. How is it possible that this incredible human being came from within me? How is it possible to go back to that time, to feel those fluttery little kicks, to know he was with me wherever we went? How is it possible that, just as years ago, he was ready to move out of my womb, he is now (almost) ready to move out of my house?
How is it possible?
Even more to the point, how is it possible that, as much as I want to hold on, I am okay with him going because of the kind of Man I know he will be?