Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Baby is Growing Up...

The 8th grade teachers asked us parents to send in a baby picture this week of our big kids in preparation of their graduation ceremony coming up in May. I came across this picture and couldn't believe my eyes:

My baby is growing up. Big time.

Time is moving so fast, the tears just overflowed thinking of all those moments I loved and treasured when Jacob was a baby.

He was my first-born. The one who made me a mother from the very beginning.

His birth and delivery was so hard and painful, but it was worth every second. All 23 hours of labor and my long emergency C-section recovery at home alone.

I loved him from the moment I first held him and laid eyes on him. He was the biggest, cutest, most snuggly baby ever. He loved being rocked to sleep. He sucked his thumb, held his blanky + fell asleep on my chest. And, being a 9 pound baby, this kid loved to eat! As he got older, he sometimes fell asleep in the grocery store cart while I shopped - or easily transferred from sleeping in his car seat to a cart without waking up - and it was glorious! I had no idea what a gift that really was.

He was active right from the start. As a baby, his hands were constantly moving. His fingers would wiggle, his hands would open and shut. He arched his back and tried to jump and stand on his legs at an early age, ready to take off and run. He had the gentlest touch for an active, growing boy - something I came to admire.

Even as a baby, Jacob had a protective and caring instinct. We were alone, just the two of us, for most of the time after he was born, so he took on that role of looking out for his mom. Bless him. By 18 months, he laid out my slippers + glasses for me each morning, helped tear the toilet paper for me and helped pick out my work clothes when our day started at 5am. I never asked for help or felt like I needed it, but he knew.

God used my baby to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To speak to me and help me when I needed it the most.

Even if it was his toothy grin that greeted me each morning or his strong-willed, independent spirit with frequent tantrums as a toddler - God used that to get me through the hardest, most difficult time in my life. A black hole that I thought we'd never climb out of. From staying home full-time to nannying twin boys + caring for Jake to working full-time while my sister cared for Jake - along with moving multiple times, trying to work on a failing marriage + living in a comatose-exhaustive state...it was all a big blur of depression, uncertainty and stress. Full of sadness and broken dreams. Just total + utter brokenness.

Thank God for Jacob, though. He was my physical, tangible hope.

Something to love and hold close, someone to take care of. Something to work towards and build a future with.

I wanted so much for me and this baby son of mine, and the God of grace + mercy + love gave it all to us in time and so much more. I look up to my 13-year-old stubborn teenage son now with my husband and two other young kids in our new home, and I'm just in awe of what God has done.

Coming from such a broken, humble beginning -

Jacob is a true testament of God's power + blessing that He's poured out on our lives. And I think God has great things in store for this strong man one day.

I'm one incredibly blessed, proud mother. To come this far with my son running hard after Jesus + seeing the fruit sprout forth in our lives, it's really a dream come true.

All I can say is - thank you, Jesus.

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