When I found out I was pregnant with my second child I thought that my pregnancy would be much like my pregnancy with my daughter. I couldn't have been more wrong. I never had morning sickness with my daughter and this baby didn't understand that morning was supposed to end at 12 noon. In fact, this pregnancy would be nothing like my first pregnancy. Beginning in week 8 we had one problem after another which resulted in my being on bed rest starting at week 24. My son was born the day before Christmas in 1983 at just 31 1/2 weeks. He entered the world weighing in at a HUGE 4lbs. 2 oz. and was 17 inches long. They had told us to expect a baby weighing somewhere between 2 and 3 pounds. To say his birth, and days to follow, was scary would be an understatement. Initially unable to breath on his own and later unable to grasp sucking, swallowing and breathing at the same time, he spent 30 days in the hospital and came home weighing 4lbs.10 oz. The first few months of his life we alternated between falling on our knees thanking God for allowing this baby to even be in our lives to hovering over him and collectively rejoicing as he met each new milestone.
He was the easiest baby in the world. He was content to sit and watch his sister, rarely cried and he was down right adorable. While our daughter was fair with dark eyes, our son's skin was olive and he had huge blue eyes. He was quiet, cuddly and a little shy. He loved bananas and pancakes, books, his blanket-bunny and pacifier and most of all, his sister. He followed her around and lived for that rare moment when she would share her toys. Our son didn't do the terrible two's, instead opting for the Thunderous Three's. We began to get an idea of what raising him would be like. If we asked him to stand by us that meant run the other way. If we told him it was white, he clearly saw it as black. He was born hating to shop and always made me pay the price for dragging him along. There is no reasoning with a toddler and we had to rely on prayer as it was obvious that this child truly believed his way was the right way and saw no need for parental intervention.
By the time he started school, we knew that being premature hadn't affected our son's development. He was very bright. School came easy and he was always well behaved and quiet. His teachers couldn't say enough about what a model student he was. Of course, at home he wasn't always perfect. Like most little boys, he despised chores and homework. His arguing could turn a 30 minute project into a three hour fight. During this time, we kept him busy, trying to discover what it was that he would excel at and make his own. He played T-ball, soccer, basketball, was a cub scout and went to AWANA. He found a passion for basketball. He loved to both play and watch. At the time his dad was working nights, so he and I would watch Michael Jordan and the Bulls, learning the game together. He loved scouts and memorized books and books of scripture at AWANA.
In 7th grade he made the school basketball team and our lives haven't been the same since. For some reason, the boys on that basketball team were instantly popular. Overnight, girls began to call. Our quiet, shy child became outgoing, funny, sarcastic and a little arrogant all rolled into one. High school found him running Cross Country and Track. He was an honor student and an athlete. He had great friends with parents who were all on the same page. We thank God for that because, just like when he was a little boy, he wanted to do things his way and honestly believed that he was ready to be making all of his own choices. This resulted in the occasional mishap that caused us to say, "What about THAT seemed like a good idea?" or "Of course we found out, this IS a small town." Most of the time we were, in reality, stifling a giggle or two. This stubbornness, while annoying at the time, is actually what has made him the awesome man he is today.
It was during High School that the Holy Spirit began to show our son what his plans were for him. His first job was as a basketball referee for the Boys and Girls Club. Then it was as a summer day camp counselor at the local recreation center and he also volunteered to help coach the Middle School Boys Basketball team. After graduation our son attended UCSD where he majored in Psychology with a minor in Human Development. In college he worked as an elementary school tutor and then got hired by Sea World in the (you guessed it) Educational department. He does day camps, sleepovers, VIP tours and can often be found on a microphone at the tide pools or polar bear exhibit. He still works part time for Sea World while attending grad school. He is majoring in Counseling Psychology and Religious Studies with the intent of becoming a Christian Marriage and Family Counselor. It is not hard to imagine that his emphasis will be on family, as every job he has ever had involves children. Educated and mature, he will be awesome at explaining to teenagers that there truly is a reason for rules and that sometimes parents actually know what they are talking about. :-)
Through Sea World, God brought a beautiful young woman into our son's life. While nothing is official, it appears that she could be our future daughter-in-law. Our son has turned into a wonderful man. To God we give the glory! He is still smart, funny and sarcastic, though not nearly as arrogant. He is honest and has integrity. He tries to always do the right thing. He stands firm in his beliefs. Fiercely independent, he will now, occasionally, ask his parents for advise and actually consider taking it. He is thoughtful and incredibly handsome! I am proud to say, that when he enters a room, I find myself thinking, "That MAN is MY son!!"