I remember the day my son was born as clearly as if it were only yesterday.
That said, I couldn’t remember a simple list of six items to pick up at the grocery store if not written down.
Funny how our brains can reach through years – even decades – of time and present memories in crystal clear vision of certain important events in our lives.
Speaking the other day with a friend, she said her son would soon turn 2-years old.
“It seems like only yesterday,” she said.
“Fortunately,” I said, “it will always feel that way.”
This week our son turned 21 years old. To me, if I measure the time by calendars, this is two decades plus one year. But for some reason, the clarity of the moment is so strong I believe I could probably recall the color of the chair I was sitting in when called from the waiting room.
There is something special about the birth of your children. The moments are nothing short of monumental shifts in your being. No one can ever fully prepare you for what occurs inside of you when you first lay eyes on your own flesh and blood. You’ve changed the world – and it will forever change you.
I am so proud of our two children. While our son is now a full adult in the eyes of society, our daughter is quickly closing in as she prepares to turn seventeen later this month. Time will most likely have captured them both from under our roof in the blink if an eye.
But I’ll always have the memory of the day they were born.
Our son, true to this day, was ‘on’ from day one. As they brought him out of the surgery room, I looked down to see his eyes intently staring back at me – already processing his surroundings. This would become a very telling indication of how he would navigate the rest of his life. Emotions in check, gathering and digesting information, became his standard procedure from the day we brought him home. So focused, my wife once left a note on his 4th grade desk telling him to ‘lighten up’ after a teacher suggested during an open house that parents should leave an ‘inspirational’ message for their student. The teacher didn’t find the note funny.
Our daughter, on the other hand, came into this world kicking, screaming and bent on figuring out how to mold it into something designed to satisfy her wants and desires. For her birth I actually was allowed in the room and got to witness her very first breathe outside the womb. If you want to truly appreciate the miracle of life, watching you own child cough and take its first breath will forever alter you.
But like most people, my memory leaves a lot to be desired. If not for my habit of always keeping notes on yellow legal pads, or scribbling ideas on the back an envelope I found on the Ping-Pong table, there is no telling how much would fall off my plate. My memory is just not that good.
But when it comes down to what really matter is life, for some reason, God gave us all 20/20 vision.
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