My Baby is 18 today. I remember exactly where I was 18 years ago today. I had been up most of the night before sitting up in a recliner in our family room in Northern California where Greg was Senior Pastor for 3 1/2 years. I was timing some early contractions on the clock on our VCR and trying to sleep. When morning came Greg and I took a long walk hoping to bring SOMETHING on. But there was NOTHING.
Later that day we decided to attend the “Apple Blossom Festival” happening in the small town of Fortuna, where we were living. I felt so good I even had a chili dog! Then there were hay rides for the kids and 4 year old Ashlee went on one with her Daddy and then one with a friend. By then I was starting to feel a little something – and told Greg and my Mom who was down visiting – that we needed to go home. We left Ashlee with the friend on the hay ride in hopes that my Mom would be able to go back after her. She eventually found it 🙂 I tried lying down a little but by then – the contractions were coming and we thought we should go to the hospital.
When we got there they broke my water – something it never seems to do on its own – they had to do this when I delivered Ashlee too. THEN the contractions CAME!! 4 hours of hard labor and about 45 minutes of pushing and out Shawn came – at 8:27 pm on a Saturday night. Greg had to preach the next morning – and I know he didn’t get much sleep that night!!
I never slept right after giving birth to either Ashlee or Shawn – no matter how exhausted I was!! So I remember my Mom and Ashlee coming to see “the baby” and them moving me to a private room (the perks of being in a small hospital) and them telling me how much Shawn weighed – 8lbs 13 1/2 ounces!! No wonder my back hurt!!
But the “frozen moment” in time that I remember MOST of all – is when everyone left. My “call” button didn’t work in my room – and I couldn’t reach the phone either. Good thing there wasn’t a real emergency. No – they all just left me holding Shawn. For a LONG TIME – or so it seemed to me. I remember humming the Brahm’s Lullaby to him over and over and snuggling him close to my neck so I could breathe him in – and he could breathe me in too. There wasn’t a sound in the room – and he wasn’t making any noise at all. Just a real bonding moment that I just KNEW I would remember ALL OF MY LIFE. And I have.
That seems like yesterday. So much life has happened since then. We’ve moved several times and arrived back in the Northwest when Shawn was only 3. This is really all he’s ever known.
He’s grown into such a nice young man – tall and handsome and talented too – but what I’m most proud of – is that he hasn’t really changed too much since he was a baby and a little boy – sweet and gentle in spirit with a true sensitivity to others. He’s always been the “favorite” in both families and has many friends. He is a very solid and genuine human being and we couldn’t be more proud of him. Is he perfect? Not at all. But his strength is in his relationship with God and with his family – and that keeps him grounded even when he blows it – or when things around him can seem unsettled.
He and I have always been very close – we have similar personalities – so it’s never been hard to stay a “step ahead” of him – so to speak. He can’t really put too much over on me 🙂 And I know whatever he chooses to do in life he will be successful and well liked by all – and we will always be close.
What I didn’t mention above is that I don’t get pregnant very easily. When it took a year with Ashlee and nothing was happening for much longer than that with the second one – I began to think I was not going to be able to have another baby. I remember walking around a park and just pouring my heart out to God about this issue. I felt a real peace about it – and really felt like the baby I would have would be a very special child. And to that answered prayer I would say – yes! He was and STILL IS!!