You did know that the Constitution was signed on September 17th, didn’t you?
It’s also Jake’s 13th birthday. He wasn’t supposed to arrive on this day. I had other plans. You see, on September 17th, 1999, I was only 32.5 weeks pregnant and was supposed to be having a baby shower. Honestly though, nothing had gone according to plan up to that point, (nor has it since), so I can’t say that it was all that surprising. And in retrospect, it was a perfect day for Jake, lover of all things history, to come into the world.
I really wasn’t going to post anything today, as I got the sap out in Friday’s entry. And, I think it’s probably clear how much I adore my son since I talk about him every so often. But, then my friends started wishing him a “Happy Birthday” on Facebook and one pointed out that this is the anniversary of me becoming and mommy….and another thanked him for being born so that she and I could be friends. And, then I read the list of people that were “liking” and commenting and realized that so many of them have come into my life because I had a baby on September 17th, 1999. This list of people, many of whom were strangers 14 years ago, are now people I cannot imagine my life without. Some of them I met on the internet, in virtual “playgroups”, some of them are parents of his friends who have become some of my closest friends, some of them are his teachers and mentors and pastors. Some are even relatively new friends who have still had a major impact on his life. Each one has played a vital role in his life — and mine.
And then there are the people who were there before he was born. The people who knew us before we ever decided to be parents. The people who loved us and helped make us the people we were on September 17, 1999 when this new little life came into the world. They are the people who took time on their lunch hours to bring me food and visit me as I endured weeks of bed-rest. And, the real saints who spent their vacations visiting me and keeping me company during that time. They helped us move into a new house in August…in Phoenix. They filled our hospital room with so many flowers after Jake was born that we began to give them to other new mommies in the pod. They welcomed him and have loved him and cherished him almost as much as we do.
And then there are people who aren’t here anymore. Relatives who never even got to meet him, but who I see everyday in his face. Others who did get to spend some time with him, but who only live on in stories that he loves to hear about them. And Julie. His auntie, not by blood, but certainly by love…who was the first non-relative to visit us in the hospital and who I wish so badly could have been here to teach him all the really fun stuff. She would have loved his sense of humor.
Indeed, it takes a village to raise a child. I’m grateful beyond words for our village. I know that you know who you are, if you are reading this. Thank you for being there for us as parents…and for him…for loving him and encouraging him and for being part of his story so far. You’ve made a difference in his life. As I told another friend of mine today….he’s your kiddo, too. And, I’m glad because there’s no way we could have done this without you.