Today is the birthday of my first born. His 26th birthday. Oh my, where did the time go? My husband and I were married four years before we started our family. But the moment our son joined us it seemed there had never been a time when he hadn't been there. Here was this perfect child, a mix of the two of us, a product of our love for each other. How could life have ever existed without him?
I remember staring at his contented, sleeping form and actually believing I would never let anything bad happen to him. That I would always protect him with reason and guide him with wisdom and lead him with patience and discipline him with love. And during those first heady months of his life with no other distractions or concerns I almost could pull that off.
Of course life, in all it's reality, has it's ways of shaking our dreams and dispersing our intentions. Through the years we moved with the military, we fell victim to our tendencies of being over committed and working too hard. And God continued to bless us with the addition of more glorious souls which brought with them joys and sorrows and needs and wants. Life was blessed and messy beyond description.
My husband and I were doing the best we could trying to live out the convictions the Lord had laid on our hearts in the midst of the mess and the chaos we called "normal."
And for each of those ideas and convictions you, my precious first born son, were the guinea pig.
- You were the first I homeschooled
- You were the first I taught to read
- You were the first I tried to navigate through puberty
- You were the first I experimented on "doing young adulthood"- because we didn't want you to fall into the American teenage trap
- You were the first I attempted to guide through the adventures and perils of falling in love
- You were the first..........and I tried
And I think maybe it is time I apologize. I apologize for all the times I thought I was making decisions out of wisdom when I was making them out of fear. I apologize for protecting you when I should have been encouraging you. I apologize for encouraging you when I should have been protecting you. I apologize for figuring out what NOT to do after I did it to you- and therefore doing it (whatever "it" was) differently with your siblings. I apologize for the times I didn't listen to the Spirit and my heart that were whispering to me to do it differently than the prescribed way. And I especially apologize for EVER making decisions based upon what someone else might think instead of only EVER basing my decisions on what God would think.
God placed you first in our family on purpose and I will be eternally grateful that He did. He knew you would be a fabulous big brother. He knew you would profoundly effect and change your Dad and I. He even knew you would be subject to goofy plans and idealistic visions- and that all that would somehow shape you to be the man you are today.
A man I admire and respect.
Happy Birthday my precious first born. May God continue to bless and redeem all my mistakes. You are infinitely worth it all.