During my first pregnancy, my biggest craving was anything with melted cheese on it. Mexican food–spicy, Spanishy, burritos, chips w/ cheese, chicken with cheese melted over the top, etc. And I remember a day I drank almost an entire 2 liter of grape soda while at work.
The doctor stopped weighing us after I had gained 54 pounds by the 38th week of the pregnancy.
Due to toxemia AND my being strep B positive AND having family so far away, my doctor scheduled my induction for May 5–about a week before my due date. I had a fantastic birth experience–love hospitals with heated sheets, cold popsicles, and staff paid to make a big fuss over me while I’m there.
Not knowing whether our baby was a boy or girl, we went to the hospital with a short list of names. (We mailed out cards with lists of possible boy names, possible girl names, and some blank lines for write-ins to get some family & friend suggestions to help the out-of-townness of everyone feel a little less far).
When we found out that we had a boy, we looked at our boy name list and had Nicholas (Cole for short), Aidan, and Liam on the short list. Our little guy was definitely not red and fiery, so Aidan got struck, he just didn’t look like a Nicholas to me and so Liam it was. We had a different middle name chosen (which I forget, Dan, do you remember?) but in the hospital I really wanted Liam to be named after his father. So says the Jenna, thus it was done. (Not too much fight put up by a very proud, albeit tired of writing a seminary paper in the hospital using a flip-open keyboard with his PDA, father)
This little dude turned my world nether. For a career-oriented gal in the midst of her MA in Management, I was totally blindsided by the motherly instincts that kicked in after Liam was born. And thus began this crazy adventure into being a mom. Being good at it, being bad at it, being OK with it, being not OK with it, but from that day on being a mom.
Liam, thanks for making me who I am today. I have loved being a mom because of you. Despite your sleeping in our bed with us for practically the entire first year of your life. Despite always having to be held, and generally not being a happy kid until you learned to walk and could go, go, go. Despite knocking out your two front teeth at the tender age of 2 and some change. (We’re still waiting for the new ones to grow in…I don’t think I’ll recognize my son with teeth when that does happen) Despite battles of your strong will, night-owlery, and inordinate amount of independence.
I am amazed at who Liam is today, but not surprised. As soon as they laid him on my stomach after delivery, he lifted his little head up–looking like a pale, wrinkly turtle–to look around. He’s still like that. Pale, not so wrinkly, but super observant. He didn’t cry right away or make a fuss, and that’s how he is today. He takes everything in stride and is a very low-key and laid back guy.
Don’t get me wrong, if someone so much as thinks about crossing a line, he is the first to cry “foul”. And we jokingly call him our little pharisee because all rules apply to everyone else except him, and he has a gift for pointing out everyone else’s faults without (yet) being able to recognize his own. (I freely admit that this comes from me, myself, and I. I’ve had 32 years to recognize and work on it…and still am…let’s hope I can re-direct that “gifting” by having been “stretched” through it for so much of my life.)
This is the first year I have had to give up total and complete creative liberty and execution of the birthday cake. That is both an exciting and I-need-to-have-my-hands-tied-behind-my-back kind of feeling. We collaborated on his Scooby-Doo cake and it turned out a masterpiece. In his mind. It tasted good and hopefully was what he envisioned and I have to be OK with that.
Liam, your heart is so good. I can’t imagine how much gooder it will be when you decide to ask Jesus into it. Maybe 6 will be the year? I know faith is hard for you. You need to see and touch and feel to trust. I’ll just keep praying that something or someone will be able to demonstrate or communicate the wonderful truth of Jesus into your life, and that we can celebrate the day you ask him into your life. I’m loving trying to figure you out and directing you to play to your strengths without trampling others in the process, and coaching you to persevere through things that challenge you or don’t come easily to you (which ain’t much, lucky kid)
I say it all the time, and for now you still let me.
I love you, bugaboo!
Happy Birthday to my burrito baby on this Cinco de Mayo. (I like to tell him, there will always be a party on your birthday!)
I can’t believe it’s year 10! I can honestly say “it just keeps getting better!” with you. A few years ago we started to see signs that you are an introvert, and put you on a soccer team just to give you some outside interactions besides the solitariness of reading books and playing Legos. Little did we know that soccer was one of your languages. When you are on the field, you ROAR. Your quiet intensity and strategic, yet team-oriented plays, set you apart as a a gifted athlete whose talent is only matched by your good-sport attitude during every single game. We’ve been proud to see you take your enjoyment of Legos to a whole new level–competing for and winning a spot as a Lego Junior Construction Panelist and getting your first paid Lego set-building job this year! I adore how you create a unique “set” or birthday card from your own Lego stash for your siblings on their birthdays–your tender, gentle spirit is still intact despite the pre-pubescent moodiness that sometimes gurgles up and pushes someone’s buttons on purpose to provoke them.
You claim to have Jesus in your heart, and I believe that you do as I see the buds of fruit in your life via Bible reading and praying. I know you desire to take the next step and get baptized so you can tell the world, but I know that video has you scared to take the leap. Praying for supernatural courage in the coming year to take that step so that it will help strengthen the wings of your fledgling faith, and that I’ll be a nurturer of your love for God and for others in the coming year. I pray that you’ll keep living up to your name as “protector” of your younger siblings, and of your own heart as well as we are beginning to enter what can be some very rocky years for most kids. I know you’re not in the category of “most kids”, you are truly something special and different, and we love you ardently in your own quiet way.