Chapter 9

Saturday my biggest boy turned NINE. The time has flown by so fast… I don’t really know how to feel about it. He’s maturing right in front of me. He counted down almost the whole month until his birthday in typical BJ fashion and he wanted to know if “everyone will know it’s his birthday” which meant will everyone be coming by to celebrate? Everyone to him is his grandparents, friends, sister, cousins, Aunt and Uncle and my two girlfriends who have become family. And everybody came. They began arriving around noon on last Saturday and around 3pm we headed to Urban Air trampoline park. The boys jumped and jumped…played virtual reality and then BJ did something that shocked me, he did the bungee ride which he’s always been too nervous to do. He walked up to it with strength bolstered by a group of peers going with him and gave me a thumbs up and off he went.

We did a pizza, cake and ice cream gathering after Urban Air and then the boys played PlayStation and ran and played until they passed out. The next morning we picked up our “Happy Birthday” donuts and the boys filled up on carbs and sugar and went out in the backyard to jump and play for a while. It was a busy weekend. But my big boy was so happy… he was able to be the center of attention. He deserves that. He’s so loved…

I’ve been so emotional lately. Everything brings tears to my eyes. I know it’s most likely just the holiday season blues. But I can’t stop thinking about how long we’ve been doing this thing. BJ was three when Byron passed away. Now he’s NINE. I’ll have a teenager in a couple of years. I can’t wait to see what he looks like. What his voice sounds like. What his body looks like when it’s no longer just angles and elbows. But on the other hand… I read an article that says “your son growing up is like the slowest breakup you’ve ever known” and my heart begins to ache. I’m already missing him and he’s still here. But now he asks me if there’s anything on his face before he gets out of the car instead of me having to grab a baby wipe to get whatever he’s snacked on minutes prior. He is particular about his hair, he wants it to look a certain way and told me he doesn’t like how the barber cut it the last time. He asked me what age he has to be before he can have a girlfriend and sometimes tells his brother things about girls that he doesn’t tell me. He’s coming to an end of the little boy years and will turn the corner on preteen and teenage before I can blink. And all I want to do is grab a blanket off the couch and lay down and let him put his head in my lap while it’s still cool.

BJ made me a mommy. He was the original reason for this blog. He came into this world 1 pound 8 ounces and 4 months early. Though it’s hard sometimes I remind myself that it could be so much harder. How far he’s come… and that God has blessed him with a testimony for reasons I’ve yet to understand but have to trust. He is uniquely himself. And I want him to feel the love I have for him more than I say it. No matter how tired and frustrated and overwhelmed I sometimes get. In this next chapter of his life, chapter 9, I will do a little erasing and rewriting some of the words I’ve used, and tones I’ve expressed myself with, I’ll do more building than rushing… and living in the moment than going through the motions.

My hope is that one day when the boys are older (much older) they can read these posts and get an in site to who their mom is, and what I was thinking while raising them. So, BJ if you’re reading this… know that you taught me more than I ever taught you. You made me want to be a mom (I wasn’t sure I even wanted kids… then you were born and all I could think about was how much I wanted you to make it home from the hospital). Your determination is admirable. You never give up. Ever. And I pray you never do. I hope that you know how much I love you. Even when I’m fussing, even when I’m frustrated, even when you mess up or don’t listen… I will never stop loving you.

When your dad died you stopped feeling safe. And no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to help you feel safe. I can’t keep you from getting nervous about entering rooms, I can’t stop you from trying to figure out where I’m at if you turn around and I’ve left the room, I can’t make you believe that I can protect you if the bad guys from your dreams were to show up in real life. I tell you with certainty that I will keep you safe, that it’s my job and that there’s nothing to be afraid of in our house. I’ve shown you how the alarm system works, the cameras, the window taps and the glass break monitors. I’ve told you that I keep “protection” and that I will use it without a second’s hesitation if necessary. But your superhero left one morning and never came back. You learned that nothing was for certain at a very young age. And your dad who we told you would “beat up the bad guys” when you were little and afraid of the dark… is gone. I want you to know that I understand. When I sometimes get frustrated with you for asking someone to go upstairs with you or you ask B2 to go with you it’s only because I want you to not feel the need to do that so bad. I want you to have a safe place because I can’t imagine what it’s like to not have anywhere that you feel safe. Byron’s passing robbed you of more than just a dad who loved you… it robbed you of some of your peace of mind and my dear sweet boy… I promise you we will get it back.

I love you BJ. You are my heart. My son-shine and everything I could have wanted in a son and more. Happy Birthday…

#stillfightingBJ Birthday

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