Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday's Gratitude Post

Boys. NICUs. Red-heads. High-energy kids. Micro-preemies.

Now teenagers.

Amazing how something so tiny can change your life
so drastically, so brilliantly.
G came into our lives 14 weeks early at 2 lbs, 5 oz.
Due in December, born in August.
The doctors allowed us to lay one finger on him
before they wheeled him into the NICU.
We could only touch him softly, for fear of his skin tearing.
We could see his heart beating beneath his skin.
All five of his fingers could fit inside my size-4 wedding ring.

This is the first day we got to hold him, on Day 7.
I sat holding my little kangaroo for hours at a time, day in and day out.
I watched other parents come and go,
but one of us was always there with our baby.
He burned with fierce determination and tenacity from the very beginning,
a trait that kept him alive then and that continues to serve him well today.

They called him "The Miracle Baby."
Never on a respirator, never on nasal prongs.
He nursed when only 30 weeks, remarkably early.
He was just tiny and needed to grow.
At 34 weeks, still 6 weeks premature, he came home -
eyes wide with wonder.

He continued to amaze us, reading at 18 months.
Here, at 11 months, he's picking out letters from the headlines
while having his cup of joe.

He wholeheartedly welcomed his little sister
when she came along a year and a half later.
They were best buddies - and still are (well, most of the time) -
along with their younger brother.

At two, he hadn't said "Mama" yet.
We wondered if he would ever speak.
But he would sit on the couch with us and read literally for hours at a stretch.
We were heartened by that affinity for words, which alleviated our fears.

At 3, he not only said, "Mama," but also just about anything else he wanted.
With great gusto. Often, and vociferously.

Always driven to succeed, he earned his Black Belt at age 10.
Again, his perseverance rose to the surface.

Still reaching for his goals, he attended the State-level
National Geography Bee for the second time this year.
Next year, he hopes to make it to Nationals, a dream he's had since he was 10.
He studies geography several hours a day.

Soccer, a past love of his.
On to bigger and better things now.

Finally, after playing for six years, he and his team won State.
Great to go out on a high note.

Now, a teenager.
Wow, where did the time go?

How do you adequately say you're grateful for something
that so radically changed your life that your entire being,
your complete world picture,
indeed the very physiology of your brain is changed forever?
For someone for whom you would willingly live for eternity,
die in an instant, and do it all over again?

This parenting gig is shaping me in ways I never imagined.
My children have taught me more than any school,
have guided me more than any teacher, and filled me more than any religion.

Once again, my life is changed, now that I'm the mother of a teenager.
The path before me is clearer than I ever imagined.
I just hope that I can walk it with the integrity and respect that my new teenager,
my daughter, my preteen son, and my dear husband deserve.

I'm grateful.

Happy Birthday, G.

If you liked this post, you might enjoy Does Attachment Parenting Really Work?


  1. Very moving...thanks for the post and the reminder that life can sometimes offer some pretty sweet miracles. :-)

  2. Happy Birthday G.

    This sweet post brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful way to chronicle his childhood. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Happy birthday G! What a lovely lovely tribute, Camille. Tender and pithy, it's almost a poem. And I can't believe how teeny he was!!! Wow, now a teenager. Amazing.

  4. Happy birthday G!! I think you'll continue to make a poitive difference!

  5. Wow - what a story.

    Happy Birthday G!

  6. Happy Birthday G! That's a beautiful and moving tribute, Camille.