Welcome to my First of Five Fridays. As most of you know I participate in writing challenges that post on Friday. Well, when the month has 5, we take the first off and that is what got me started on this "First Of Five Fridays" or 5 things...
I was trying to figure out what to write about and looked at a list of writing prompts. One of them was "the night you turned 21" and that got me thinking. How about the First day of Five important events. Like the birth of each of my children. Five. Except two of them are adopted so I wasn't present for their births BUT I do remember the first time I met each of them. So...that's what I'm doing. Sharing memories of when we met, when you were born and celebrating who they have become.
The First time I met you:
Jim, the first time I met you, you were 12 years old. A tall gangling kid who made me laugh and who impressed me from the very moment as a mature young man. You became very close to my family and near and dear to my heart. My boys loved you and have called you their brother for many years now. There was a time in your life when things were not...well, they just were not great at all. You came to live with us and that made for some interesting moments. I have held my breath when you called me from a clinic. I have prayed many a night and cried many a tear for you. I have seen you fail and I have seen you get up and try again. You are kind, funny, generous and hard working, all the things that make a mom proud. I am so thankful to have you in my life and blessed to call you my son and oldest. :) yep had to throw that in there.
Stephanie, my only girl. You my sweetie stole my heart from the moment I saw you, like all my kids. You were a shy, unsure, scared little girl. We had lots of talks about boys, school, friends and what not to do, sitting up watching movies, riding in my truck, eating pizza late at night and jamming out to the radio. I loved taking you to cheer-leading practice and seeing all the other moms faces. Boy they thought I was some cheap trailer trash with a teenager as young as I was. It was funny and sad at the same time, to be judged so harshly by other moms. But I didn't care. I was so proud of you. Stepping out of your comfort zone, cheer-leading, band, traveling, making friends. Having just watched you graduate,while working and raising a family, a true testament that where there is a will there is a way. Seeing you raise your own children with love, kindness and understanding that you did not always receive as a child but are so able to give. You are generous to a fault and as we near August and your first anniversary I reflect back on that wedding day and my proud moment of walking on that field as your mom. The love that you and Eric share is rare these days and with all the hardships you two have endured so far there is no doubt in my mind that you have a love to last until the last breath.
Justin, wow...The night you were born, well that WAS my 21st birthday. People remenise about what they did the night they turned 21, most got drunk and don't really remember much at all about it. I remember mine vividly. I was in labor. I thought we would have the same birthday but no! You wanted your own day, so you hung in there until the next day. It was long and hard, very difficult and it took me several weeks to recover but you were worth every second. I have watched you grow, mature and become a man I am proud to call son. You are a hard worker, a provider for your family, you love your wife and adore our LMSP. You work hard and play hard. You are surrounded by friends and family who adore you. Of course we all know you look like me and my Daddy which is not a bad thing. You have the Gardner temper and tolerance for alcohol, which can be bad, but you have the Gardner smile that lights up a room and never take a bad picture. LOL
Jesse: the morning you were born, it had been a long night. Deep in the heart of winter, a cold one for us here in NC. I woke at 3 a.m. and thought OH NO my water is going to break. As I tried every so carefully to get off the bed, WHOOSH there it went all over my brand new carpet. Your dad thought we had a pipe burst. I said, "well we kinda did" and off we went to the hospital. You were in a hurry, because by 7 a.m. you came into the world. You were the perfect baby. Sleeping straight through the night from day one. Not fussy, never sick, happy to sit on a blanket with a few toys. If I said no, you didn't do it. You were smart as a whip early on. We used to entertain ourselves by dumping several boxes of puzzles onto the floor and timing you to see how fast you could pick out the different ones and put them together. It was amazing. As you grew your talents increased. Music, computers, art, hair, if it was artistic you were drawn to it and excelled. My dear you have had your moments of rebellion and learned from them but you have not given up and continue to move forward in life and find new dreams and goals to work toward. Life has not been easy and health wise you were dealt a shitty hand, sorry but no other way to put it and you know it's true. BUT you do not sit around and wallow in self pity. You push yourself, sometimes too much. You like the rest of my kids are generous to a fault, loving , kind and funny as all get out. You have made me laugh when I didn't feel like it. I pray you continue to follow your dreams and reach them.
Joey, my youngest, my baby boy. It is so hard to believe that you are now a dad, married 3 years now and serving proudly in our USAF. It is funny, you were the dare devil, the sickly baby, the fit throwing, gotta have my way, argue with a sign post child but you have grown into a quiet, calm, mature, career man, husband and dad. It amazes me. Not that I thought you couldn't but when you were growing up most people told me "he will never leave home" you were a "momma's boy" and I enjoyed it which makes you living over 2500 miles away that much harder. You were a difficult pregnancy, which should have clued me in that you'd be a difficult child. You came into the world early, tiny and fighting. Looking at you now, at 6 feet tall, no one would guess that you were 7 weeks early, asthmatic and sickly. Thank God he has healed you and you've surpassed all our expectations.
I love each and every one of you. You are all unique, each special in his or her own way. I am proud of all of you and am so thankful to be your mom whether by birth or by choice, you are all my children now and always.
There is my FIRST...I'm sure you remember the day or night each of your children were born and if you're not a parent, there are days etched in your memory. It may be your 16th, 21st birthday, graduation or something else. Wanna share? Feel free to tell me all about it in the comments.