Thursday, August 17, 2006

A journey begins tomorrow

When the doctor handed Luke Jacob to me in the early morning hours of August 4, 2000, I was overwhelmed by relief of his good health, thankfulness for this gift, anxiety of being a first-time mommy...I heard the story about my husband who, after 21 hours of labor and 3 very intense hours of hard labor and pushing and some really intense moments, saw his first son, went to the hallway where his parents, my dad, and my step-mother were listening and praying quietly by my hospital room door, and collapsed weeping in their arms as he was overcome by joy and emotion over the birth of this beautiful, black-haired, pointy-headed little boy with long fingers. I remember thinking that he was the most beautiful little creature I had ever seen. (Since, I have seen pictures, and honestly, the other 3 were much are all c-section babies....) I also remember what it's like the first time around. Everything is new. The world seems to stop because you have a new responsibility and a new joy. I remember his first fever...not knowing what to do, who to call, wanting to know it and not have to ask for help. I remember laying almost every night until he was about 18 months old on the couch with him on my belly, smelling all clean and fresh after a warm bath, listening to him breathe, feeling his breath. I can remember thinking when I found out I was having another baby (or babies) that I didn't know if I could love another child as much as I love Luke. There's something about that first child....

I can remember when he went for his first shots, his first surgery to get his tonsils out (which literally took 17 minutes), his first day in a real Sunday School class and not just the nursery, his first hair cut, his first step, his first day at preschool, the first time he held his baby brothers...

I remember the first time that he repsonded to a question and made me think for a change. Then I think of the time this past week....we were walking in the back door and Luke was supposed to be helping me carry in some bags from the van, as were all of the boys (even Gabriel had a little bag). He couldn't carry all of them at once, so he was taking the first load in. I was inpatient with him and didn't understand why he wouldn't just TRY to carry them all at once. I was tired, and I was trying to carry my bags while stearing a 1-year-old in to the house in the dark. I lost my temper and I yelled at Luke. His spirit is so tender...he cried, "I don't like the way I feel when you yell at me!" Immediately, something inside me felt like it broke. I couldn't put my finger on it at that moment...but later, after they were in bed and the bags were set aside to unpack the next day, I thought about it. Here was that little, gooey-eyed, black-haired, snuggly, beautiful little baby boy of mine all grown to express his feelings when I was being mean and unwilling to to extend compassion or patience. Aren't boys supposed to have a harder time expressing these things??? The next day, he was playing with his brothers. I called him in the room so I could talk to him. I simply said that the night before I had treated him badly and had been mean, that I should not have yelled at him because I was frustrated, and that I loved him very much and was sorry. His response was so sweet. He leaned over to me, put his arms around me, and said, "Mommy, I forgive you" this point I was shocked that he used those words instead of "it's okay" or something like much more powerful is "I forgive you'?...."because you are the best mommy ever! You were just having a bad day."

That's when I realized. He is so much a person and not just a child. A person with a thought-process, a heart, a mind, a soul...

Tomorrow he begins his journey at Kindergarten. At one point, I thought I wouldn't be emotional about it. Today it has hit me like a ton of bricks. My little boy is on his journey to becoming a man.

God, grant me and my husband the wisdom to steer him on to Your path of righteousness. Help me to know how to handle him and his gentle spirit..even when he's not being so gentle. As new challenges are bound to come, help me to look to You for the wisdom I'll need to help Luke, Drew, Evan, and Gabriel to become men after Your own heart. Forgive me when I have failed to show them Your love and when I have been a bad example. All of You and none of me....Amen


Brandon and Natalie Robbins said...

Hi Michelle! This blog was sooo sweet. Do you remember 4 years ago this month when we had a van full and drove non-stop out to see your Mom and John in Helena?!? Luke was so little, adorable and so well behaved! I can't believe he's starting Kindergarten. Time sure flies! It was so good of you to go back to Luke and apologize to him. That's not easy for a parent to do but it's very admirable. You are setting a wonderful example :)

Dan & Angie said...

Hey Michelle - great post. Can't believe he's starting Kindergarten!

FYI - I'm not giving up dangieland, I just started a new blog for our church attenders to read - it's linked from our new main church site (if you haven't seen it, check it out at

Kris & Megan Hutsell said...

oh gosh michelle, you almost made me cry. Isaac turns four today and I can't get over how fast four years has gone. It makes me sad to think about but how fortunate we've been to be so blessed by our children.
I hope Luke had a wonderful first day and second and third.
I'm also glad you got to see Micah and Todd. I wish we could've been there!