- Published on Thursday, 04 March 2010 11:11
My son doesn't turn 11 for a few more days. However, my parents are here for holiday so we are celebrating early - on New Year's Eve. Really, it's a bit poetic. When I realized I was pregnant with him, all those years ago, I was in shock. Scared to death without a CLUE how to be a mother. It really took a deep sense of faith and trust in God for me to believe that I could do it...and to ACT on that faith. The poetic part? Celebrating a New Year with what became a new me - because of him.
I wasn't the nicest of people back then. Quite self centered. I really believe that God has a plan for our lives and His plan for me included giving birth to this mini human we named Chandler :-)
So how did this PLAN unfold, you ask? I will get to that in just a moment.
I decided it would be nice to write this article for my son - so he can print and hold onto it; and perhaps share it with his own children some day, if wanted. I try to teach my son that our choices lead us places. We can make wise choices or poor ones. All of our choices will lead us SOMEWHERE - so where do we wish to go? How do we wish for things to end up? Ten years from now, will we regret a particular choice? If so, let's not make that one!
If someone had asked me 11 years ago, "Hey. Do you want kids right now?" My answer would have certainly been, "No way! I need more time to party and have fun and do as I please!" Yet there I ended up, pregnant and freaked out. I made the choice to put everything I had into being his mommy. I read parenting books, magazines, articles and cereal boxes - anything that would give me a clue as to what a mom was supposed to be and do and behave like. Some of the info was great and some was terrible. I came to the conclusion that I just had to JUMP and see where I landed.
So I did.
And not a day goes by that I'm not thrilled with how things ended up. My mother commented the other day that having Chandler "grew me up." It surely did. The selfish pig that I was became a faint memory when I gave birth to a child who had a very special need. (See our story here.)
I held him in my arms, all purple and squishy, and felt my heart crack in two. A real life, full mini human, all my own. I really, really wanted to do right by him. To be the best mother I could possibly be. There is so much said these days about young mothers and how becoming a mother, too soon, can screw up a person's life.
I am here to tell you - the OPPOSITE happened to me. My son changed my heart, my mind and my future. The entire course that my life was headed on changed for the better when he came along. I am a different (and better!) person for having had him.
- I have a business that I am deeply passionate about - all because of him (which he likes to remind me of. LOL).
- I went to college, even after having him - because I wanted a better life for the two of us.
- I wrote two essays in college about him, in hopes of winning scholarships. I won them both, helping me stay in school. One scholarship was quite large.
- I learned to cook, clean and give of myself in selfless humility - because of him.
- My parents were stunned to find me pregnant. I'm a pastor's kid, for goodness sake. But they will both be the first to tell you - I'm a better, more thoughtful person - because of him.
- I learned to work hard and smart - because of him.
- I have met some of the most incredible people in the world with amazing stories to share - because of him.
- I learned all about the Gifted programs in schools - because of him.
- I learned to volunteer in the school system - because of him.
- I decided to earn my elementary ed degree - because of him.
- I figured out how to make toys and games from household items - because of him.
- I learned to care for the needs of another human being, rather than think only of myself - because of him.
- I learned to fend for myself (when I was a single mom) and for my child's needs - because of him.
- I learned to humble myself and accept temporary help from the government, when needed - because of him.
- I grew in faith, beyond measure - because of him.
- I learned to trust God in all circumstances, even when I was broke and penniless - because of him.
Am I an advocate of becoming a young mother? I would not say that. Do I believe that becoming a mother, at a young age, will mean the end of a woman's future?
(*Chandler - sorry that I cussed just then - you are still not allowed to say bad words. In case you wonder.)
Each year, on his birthday, my eyes well up with tears as I think back over our time together and what becoming his mother has meant for my life. Nothing bad. Only good.
So this year, as my firstborn leaves his first decade to enter his second, I thank him. He had no clue what he'd do to my life but God knew. And that plan has unfolded perfectly, supremely and exponentially beyond my imagination or hopes.
I love you, Chandler. It's not too large a statement to make - to say that the only reason I am me - is because of you.
ABOUT the Author:
Shara Lawrence-Weiss is the owner of Mommy Perks, Kid Perks and Personal Child Stories. She has a background in early childhood, nanny work, published freelance, marketing and special needs.