eth is 16 today. At exactly 11:24 a.m., if you must know... and you know you must! It remains a day of great joy in my memory but I would be waxing nostalgic and less than truthful if I said it was THE best day of my life. So much has gotten better since pushing out a 9.1-pound baby. Watching him grow into the wonderful and joyful young man he is today *is* one of my favorite things, ever.
When I was looking for cards for his birthday, it really stood out for the first time that the kid cards didn't fit, but the "Grown Son" cards didn't quite either. He is between two worlds (more that the usual two worlds he straddles) and doing so well at gently leaving the kid one behind and embracing the man one.
There are many things to celebrate about Seth today, from his bright eyes and easy grin to his creativity and intelligence, quick wit and thoughtfulness. As I've said before, many times, his heart is a good heart, one that seeks to do right and forgive and include. He is a loyal friend and an affectionate and loving son. I have said, also many times, that I think God gave me exactly the right kid for me. While that may sound selfish and very "me" oriented, I don't think so. God didn't just give me a kid who says "how high?" when I say "jump." He gave me a son who has nudged me at times to love people who are hard to love, ask the big questions about how we got here and what we are to do with this life, walk what I talk and be a better person. Maybe that's just inherent in having a child and seeing yourself mirrored in so many of their actions, for good or for bad. But I've only got the one, so this is what I know: I am blessed, beyond, for this boy and his love.
I went through Seth's baby book this past weekend, and read snippets I'd forgotten completely--his first words, some of his early habits and activities--and ran across these images from his ultrasound. I know some people don't think there's much to see in an ultrasound, but I remember walking away with these pictures and feeling like I'd seen my BABY. Seeing that profile and that little penis (it's the "?" in the second photo, in case you can't tell!), it was really all quite REAL, suddenly.
There have been many times over the years when I've looked across at his profile--especially now when he's driving and I'm beside him in the car--and thought back to these ultrasound shots, reflecting how very much he still resembles the shadowy forms in these images.
So about the "?" shot. They're not supposed to put a label on THAT in the ultrasound room, and the radiologist actually isn't allowed to give you the gender. He just very obviously looked across at me and gave the eyebrow raise as he typed in the "?" and said the doctor would further elaborate. So when the doctor came in he laughed at the image and the question mark, and revealed that usually he doesn't say one way or the other unless he is 100% certain. If he's wrong, he treats the new parents to dinner out at the finest local restaurant of their choosing. He proceeded to say that if the baby in the ultrasound was not born a boy, he would treat to dinner out... in Seattle... for four (not his usual two)! He seemed pretty certain that Seth would be a Seth!
Happy birthday, Seth. I am, today and every day, so blessed to call you my son.