Today was a milestone day. First of all, we went to the movie with friends today. On our way out, Jake said he had to go to the bathroom. I’ve never let him go into the men’s bathroom by himself and today, there were no men to accompany him. He looked at me and said “Mom, I am a third grader now. I will be fine”. So, I let him. And he was fine. I can’t shelter him forever. I can only teach him about “stranger danger”, but he also needs to know that just because somebody is a stranger, it doesn’t mean they are going to hurt him. I need to remember that, too.
Secondly, Lloyd and Jake had their first “man talk” tonight. It wasn’t exactly a birds and the bees talk, but it laid the groundwork…and most importantly showed Jake that there isn’t anything he can’t talk to his dad about. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall, but this needed to be a father/son moment.
Finally, we finished reading Where the Red Fern Grows. Lloyd’s actually been reading it to him, but I hung out and listened to the last couple of chapters. I sat here and cried like a baby. Lloyd was choked up too. Jake thought it was sad, too. But, we had a great discussion about why God allows seemingly bad things to happen.
For the past 2 years now, I have forgotton one of the most significant “anniversaries” in my life. June 5, 2000. It was the day of Jake’s open heart surgery. The day his heart was repaired. The day he was given a new lease on life. I remember it so clearly…handing him over to the nurse and just asking Jesus to be there with him and hold him because I couldn’t. Seven hours went by….tick…tock….tick….tock. It was probably the longest day of my life. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know what God had in store for us. All I knew was that if we didn’t do this surgery, he would die – and I knew I couldn’t face that. Back then, I never thought the day would come when I didn’t think about his heart….worry about his heart. And now, 8 years later, there are many days that go by when I don’t think about it – or if I do, it’s not with sadness or despair. Jake jogged for 30 minutes in the Jog-A-Thon this year! Would would have thought my little 3 pound “blue” baby would do that? God knew all along the plans he had for Jake. He has been faithful to gently erase the horrible memories of that time in our lives, while reminding us on a daily basis just how blessed we truly are. For a moment, when I looked at the calendar today and realized that I had forgotten, I felt a little guilty. But, that quickly turned to praise – that we don’t have to think about it every day – and that we can just be “normal”.
June 5, 2000
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Sunday night, Jake had his final choir concert of the year. They spent a good amount of time honoring the seniors, which always makes me weepy. It’s a combination of realizing that although Jake is only 8 – 10 years goes by fast – and remembering my own senior year. It’s amazing. I have very few memories of my childhood and it’s hard for me to remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but those last couple of months before I graduated are permanently etched into my mind. Not only do I remember the events like they were yesterday, I remember the feeling I had as I was going through them. Excitement about the future and yet, I really had no idea how much I had to look forward to.
For the first time ever, the Olympia Youth Chorus had a Men’s Ensemble (for changed voices) this year and at the concert, the younger boys got to perform a piece with the older boys. Jake loved singing with them and there really is nothing more precious than seeing the older and younger kids together. Jake had two things to say after the concert that night:
When is my voice going to change?
Someday I’ll be a senior.
Letting them grow up is probably the hardest part about being a mom.