Yesterday, my family gathered together to celebrate my son's eighth birthday.
Now, I have no glamourous labour story, in fact, I usually try to avoid discussing the entirety of the story with moms-to-be because I don't want to scare them. I also suffered from postpartum depression and then developed a hormonal imbalance that led to more depression. So, generally speaking, I have some very unpleasant memories of Jacob's first days, months, years. However, the joy of being Jacob's mother has exceeded those bad memories and made the times of trial and uncertainty so worth it. If I had to live through all the badness for even 1% of the goodness I've had with Jacob in my life I would do it. Every time.
Jacob was a surprise.
Jeff and I were not actively planning on starting a family, but Jacob came at a time when Jeff and I had both, as a couple, committed to living differently. To stop living in excess and to start living in faith again. I'm not saying that Jacob was a gift, but I've always kind of wondered if his conception wasn't part of the spiritual principle found in Luke 16:10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much..."
Listening to family last night I was incredibly blessed by what people had to say about my son. I know that he is warm, generous, polite and friendly, but to hear family members that aren't with him on a daily basis say it made me proud of my little man.
Jacob's aunt Melissa described how when she takes him to the Dollar Store and offers to buy him a treat, he always asks if he can buy one for Jeff and I. (I like to think this is because he is generous and kind and not because Jeff and I (mostly Jeff!) regularly eat his candy while he's sleeping.) My sister Amy commented on how Jacob was thankful for even small things, like socks. My parents were impressed by his courteous behaviour and my niece Victoria reiterated that if she ever had a son she would want him to be like Jacob.
Part of me wants to preen and yell, "Look at my creation!" like some kind of demented, mad scientist, but another part of me knows that cool kids like Jacob don't just happen, but are the product of love, intentional parenting and being surrounded by awesome people who care.
So, I want to say thank you to the people that have sown into our lives (Jeff and I) and into Jacob's, to family members that took frantic calls about the colour of Jacob's poop, to those who encouraged us as parents when we were pretty sure we were doing everything wrong and who have loved on Jacob with abandon.
I hope everybody gets a chance to have a Jacob in there lives. He really is the best kid ever...and he's mine!
(Sidenote: How long do I get to use the "this is baby weight" excuse? There's no time limit on that, right?)