Indulge me today. I have a 20-year-old living in my house now. Today is his 20th birthday! Happy birthday, Robert!
I cannot believe it! I was in my first semester of the third year of teaching home ec to 7th and 8th graders at Rothschild. We were wrapping up to begin the Christmas break and as I was leaving school that day I said to my principal after he informed me there were fake bets on when the baby would come, that I would bet he’d be born Christmas Eve.
And he was!
On December 23 I began to feel the beginnings of labor in my lower back and so that evening Rob and I went to visit my parents and his to tell them we thought “it” was beginning. His mom and mine were excited. I was scared. I loved being pregnant. I was HUGE, but naive enough to believe that it was all baby weight. That’s another story and it would be boring.
Sometime in the middle of the night, we phoned my doctor who met us at the hospital and then bedlum began. It was normal birthing bedlum, but bedlum between the doctor, the nurses, the family, the family, the family…
Secretly, I envy Mary and Joseph. They escaped the bedlum of their son’s birth. It was quiet except for the labor pains and the Savior’s first breathing cry on this earth. I wonder if God blessed Mary with an easy and pain-free birth… Her visitors were animals, shepherds, and wisemen. They all came and they left. I have tons of stories on the visitors who came and stayed.
I can’t blame them. They were excited. I, however, was exhausted and in need of solitude. That didn’t happen until Robert’s newness wore off in a few months. The Christmas song, “Silent Night” holds a special place in my heart as it was the lullaby I would sing to Robert many times and with all the verses. I can’t hear or sing it without tears. It’s sure to be part of the evening’s song list.
I spent labor under the influence of an epidural (praise God when I could finally get it!) and I watched Nathalie Dupree’s cooking shows back to back on PBS inbetween contractions and visitors. It was getting way to close to danger for the baby and so after a day of labor, our son was born via emergency c-section a few hours before Christmas Day began.
And so, for my first Christmas away from my home and in a hospital, I spent that morning looking at the miracle of a life God had created and wondering what kind of baby he would be and who he’d grow into being. I prayed over him and remember crying more than praying. What kind of mother would I be? I had no doubts about Rob as a dad. I knew he was going to be engaged in fatherhood, available to help (and he did most middle of the nights), and he would be a fine example to a son as to what a godly man should be. He hasn’t proven me wrong on that!
It’s so hard to shorten this, but let me say some things about this baby now a young man and how God has so blessed me and Rob with Robert. I can honestly say that Robert has been tender toward the Lord since he was bitty and old enough to talk. He would remind us to “pray God” before dinner and at bedtime. When I was into baking bread, he’d pull the chair up to the counter to stand on and ask, “are you making ‘daily bread’?” In the church nursery at 4, he was not chosen to be “dad” in the playhouse, so his response was, “well, I guess I’ll be the Christian.” He would draw “pictures” of God in church and write a prayer under them. He has taken tiny throw away tubes and made them into a cross as a little guy and he still keeps that cross by his bed. I could go on.
He contemplated his confirmation because he knew he wasn’t saved at that time and was worried about joining the church. A couple of years later he was truly saved in every sense of the word.
In middle school, he knew and has known since that God has been calling him into ministry of some sort and we wait to see where God will specifically lead him.
His mind is gifted and able to contemplate doctrines that I run from. His conversations with us about spiritual matters are challenging many times and I have grown because of Robert’s passion for God and his conviction to live a life that is pleasing to His Father.
I know of no greater joy than knowing my sons both know God intimately and that they are my brothers in Christ.
So, happy birthday Robert! I am so thankful for your life and how you minister to me as your mom! I love you!