Since last November, I’ve been living in the Year of Firsts, without my boy.
Benjamin was the reason that I had a lot of “1sts”, not only the 1st Mothers Day. He was also the “WHY” for my realising that I HAD to get clean and sober.
Because God allowed me to become a Mom, I got to experience my baby’s first…poopy diaper (tiny but legitimately icky)…the first time our eyes met…the times after that when we would share a smile, a snuggle, a laugh…
As a single parent for about half of his life, I was concerned with SURVIVING for much more of the time than I’d like to admit. It’s nearly impossible to “stay in the moment” and live all of the Hallmark card images that flood the social media streams when you don’t know how your MOST BASIC needs are going to be met. We never got to go on vacations or to amusement parks. Instead, we mostly went to the Children’s Hospital to see whether his heart was working as it should. I learned later that he had to live with his own kind of PTSD as a result. I just know that by the grace of God, I did my best. We had a lot of laughs together.
PLEASE don’t feel sorry for me/us.
I’m not sharing that for your pity. It’s my life, and the reality hasn’t been pretty a lot of the time. So, nobody (except social media) ever said it had to be. Or even that it SHOULD be. It’s just truth.
My boy taught me so many things. For example: when I thought I had taken as much pain as I could stand, he inspired me to endure a bit more. He gave me reason to dig deeper for the answers when there didn’t seem to be any. His smile and tender “I love you more, Mommy” gave me the courage to find a way out of dangerous situations and to leave relationships which were destined to leave lasting scars on both of us.
My 1st baby was the instrument used by God to teach me what unconditional love looked like, walked out.
My boy grew up into a kind, gentle, insightful and funny man. I will always be more than grateful that he was a man who chose to forgive me for sometimes reacting out of fear… and things I learned from my own less-than-perfect, yet perfectly human parents.
I hadn’t planned to write anything for this Mother’s Day. In this year of 1sts, I’d just as soon skip over it.
I am still a Mother. I have another boy, or rather, young man. He delights me, more than I have the ability to express. And, I have Ben to thank for him, as well.
When he was about 6, Benjamin began to say things about how he would like to have a brother. So we prayed together, if it was ok with God, could we have a baby brother for Ben? And God listened.
I have been blessed, doubly. My son’s both grew up to exceed my hopes and dreams for them. I can’t wait to see what my younger son will become. He’s already more than I imagined he would be.
Only God knows what the future holds for any of us. But I know this much:
The Creator is good, He loves us, and He delights in our seeking to know Him. I look for the day when I see my Dad and my boy again. Trusting God to guide the rest of us Home.