Tonight is the Little He’s Birthday Eve. Tomorrow at 12:51 pm, our boy will officially celebrate his 18th Birthday. First, I still am not sure exactly how he grew up so fast. I mean, I clearly remember bringing him home from the hospital not that long ago. Of course, he came home 104 days after his birth. How crazy is that? His original due date was December 12th but he just couldn’t wait to meet us and came August 30.
This time 18 years ago I had already spent a week in the hospital on bedrest. I have a problem carrying babies. I have what is called an incompetent cervix. How much you wanna bet, some dude came up with that name? This time 18 years ago, I knew something was wrong. I knew there was a problem with the pregnancy but the doctors and nurses insisted nothing was wrong. There was nothing for me to be worried about. But still…
That little voice that spoke to my heart was right. Something was wrong. In the early morning of August 30 my water broke. Within an hour or so, the Big He and I were transported to a larger hospital with a higher level NICU. Roughly six hours after my water broke, our tiny 24 week preemie was born by emergency C-section. He made a little kitten sound, ensuring us he had been born alive. That little guy had a tough few months. He had to have three surgeries during his NICU stay. He had ups and downs but surprised everyone with how healthy he seemed despite his early arrival. That amazing strong boy has been surprising us every day since. He never developed any of the disabilities that could have developed due to his early arrival. He has grown into an amazing young man. He truly has a kind soul. He has amazing people skills and is so dang funny.
He has surprised his Dad and I on how he has adapted to this ALS life. It is not easy and makes being a teenager more difficult due to the responsibilities that have been thrust upon his young shoulders. He has taken over the household chores his Dad had been doing. He always seems to know when his Dad or I need a little extra love and the best part, he doesn’t mind showing it to us. He is not one to follow the crowd but paves his own path and doesn’t really mind what other’s have to say about it. What a great trait to carry him through his adult years.
Tomorrow, despite ALS and a global pandemic, we will celebrate our amazing boy. I was thinking this evening that while as parents, we try and raise amazing kids to be happy, healthy productive members of society we as parents, actually learn from them as much as they from us. I have learned to trust that voice that talks to my heart. I have learned that in the moments when I question if the Big He and I have done everything we could for our boy in raising him right, all we have to do is look at him. The answer is without a doubt, yes.
Despite being born 16 weeks too soon, enduring 3 surgeries in 3 months, and learning at 14 yrs old that his Dad had ALS, he has shown us how amazing, kind and loving he is.
Happiest of Birthdays sweet boy.
All my love,