Twenty one years ago today I was wrapping presents, trying to get everything done well before Christmas. It was hard to sit on the floor and wrap, since bending over my enormous, two weeks past due pregnant belly was no easy feat. I'd lean forward and stretch out the paper and cut it to size, then sit back and get my breath. Then I'd lean myself over the belly as far as I could to tape down the paper, then sit back again to get my breath. This process was made much more difficult with this annoying squeezing in my abs that kept happening every 3-5 minutes. I'd been in false labor since Thanksgiving, so I'd become accustomed to ignoring it. Pretty soon I couldn't ignore it any longer, as the pains started getting more intense, and things started to feel "different".
My mother-in-law "Nanny" drove me to the hospital, stopping at Mack-Donalds (as she said it) to get Jordan a strawberry milkshake. As she paid the drive-thru attendant, she casually asked me what time my appointment was. She nearly wet her girdle when I told her it wasn't an appointment...it was time! We made the 3 blocks to Borgess in record time. I had time to eat a cheeseburger and get my clothes changed before Spencer made his arrival. I remember my best friend from high school, Terri (and her sister Annie) worked there, and popped in to help out. Then I met him. My beloved son, Spencer. All 9 pounds of him. He looked nothing like Jordan, and I was glad. I love Jordan, and I there's only one of him. Spencer is a completely different, equally beloved person with gifts and talents all his own.
I have learned so much being Spencer's mom. I've learned that God multiplies the love in your heart with each child you have. I learned that sometimes people are cruel when they ask questions about your child. (Such as, "Why do his eyes look like that? Will they stay that way?") I also learned they don't always mean to be, they just don't know that you would make everything in your child's life perfect for them if you could, and if you thought it would be best for them. Spencer has had 2 eye surgeries, and even though he lacks depth perception, he has something even more rare and special. He can see out of each eye individually at the same time. Not to mention, I have always known that Spencer is perfectly perfect just he way he is.
Spence and I spent a lot of time together as he was growing up. We watched more than our share of cooking shows, and he still loves to cook. He was always helpful with the kids around the house, and I pray one day he realizes how much he means to them and how much they miss him. He's still known as the most flexible wrestler C-S has ever had. I enjoyed just being around him in high school, and spending time doing nothing together.
Spencer's senior year got a little derailed because of my cardiac arrest. I regret that I wasn't able to be there for him as well as I should have. I wish I had been able to focus on only his needs that year. A guy should be able to spend his senior year hanging with friends and going to dances, not worrying if his mother is going to die again soon. He shouldn't have been thinking of me or my problems at all. I feel like I stole that time from him and I can never give it back. I hope he knows I never meant to. I love that kid...I mean man...so much.
Spencer gives his all to all he does. He's got more heart than most people I know, and takes care of everyone around him, always putting his needs behind those of the people he loves. This worries me, sometimes. I want him to know his humility is refreshing, but he deserves to be treated well and respected, loved and admired. He is worthy of the very best this world has to offer. I pray that God will shower him with blessings on this, his 21st birthday, and his whole adult life. As we decorated the tree tonight, I saw each of the ornaments he's made or collected over the years. His First Christmas, the year he loved the Detroit Lions (good call, by the way), the year he made a scrollwork angel with Bum (his grandpa) and the corn husk guy known as "the scarecrow" that gets hidden in the tree each year. It reminded me of 21 years of happy, joyful, loving life spent with Spencer. Happy Birthday, son. I'm SO glad you are MY kid!
I had no idea back then how this little 9 pound bundle of love was going to change my life. But then, isn't that what Advent is all about?