If you'd told me forty years ago that I'd have four children I'd have laughed. I really didn't even like kids all that much until I had my own, so I could never have imagined having a big family. But here I am, mother of four and grandmother of six and where did the time go?
Today is my fourth child's birthday. How did my baby get to be a grown man?
When he was born he was smaller than the others had been. At 8 lbs 11 ozs he was a whole pound lighter than his older brother - but he soon proved to have a temperament that was bigger than life and got every one's attention in a hurry. He was by far my most challenging child, with a stubborn streak a mile wide - one that would confound most child psychologists - nothing I did really worked with him. By the time he was four he was so opinionated that he wouldn't wear a shirt with stripes, buttons, a collar, or pockets. That pretty much left plain tee shirts so that's what I bought - by the dozen.
But all the interesting "attributes" that proved to be so challenging came into play in a big way when he was five and diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. He was so strong and so tough during those early days of shots and blood tests, and then so stoic when it came to following his regimen that I was in awe of him. I still find it amazing that he takes it all in stride as well as he does. He's not a person who talks about feelings and emotions so its hard to know what he's thinking, but all in all I think he's an amazing kid.
Did I say "kid"? He's a grown man now, married and making a great life for himself. And I admire him very much. My baby. My hero. My son.