It is hard for me to believe it, but my oldest son turned 14 yesterday.

I feel so old. Yet, so young at the same time. I remember holding him so many years ago and thinking nothing could be as perfect as the little creature in my arms. Like any new mom, my mind held pictures of what my baby would do, what he would be, and where his life would go.

Because, yeah, that happened.

Caramon, my sweet baby born fourteen years ago, now stands before me in all his teenage glory. For the most part, he’s a good kid. Don’t get me wrong, he is still a teenager and has his drama moments. Overall though? I couldn’t be luckier. Especially since both my sons are pretty much tied for “Awesomest Kid Ever”. Could I be a little biased? Eh, maybe. Get over it. These two get my vote for the award!

We just celebrated Joram’s 12th birthday a little under a month ago. Another tall son, growing quickly into a man.

Where did these boys come from? How did I get so lucky to call them mine?

I have this theory. The Lord knew that my life included a mountain of trials. Perhaps, to make up for this, he sent me these two sons to make up for the trials a little bit.  Even if that’s not the case, I am still grateful. I love these boys with all my mom heart and thank the Lord for them each and every day. They make life enjoyable, even in the hard times.

Getting these boys to earth was not without its own trials. With each, I struggled so hard just to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Apparently, that was not enough for me to remember how much a blessing each and every day with a child is.  It was, after all, my sweet Caramon that needed to suffer through cancer and all that comes after such a diagnosis.  I remember just over nine years ago wondering if we’d see birthday number five and then sighing with relief when it looked like we’d definitely see birthday number six.

Each birthday that we celebrate is a blessing that I am eternally thankful for. How easily could October 20th be a day of tears for me?  Far too easy.  No parent should ever have to worry about that, and far too many do.  To them, know I am with you in spirit.

This new phase of life for my boys is most definitely an interesting one.  Caramon’s computer no longer shows a Pokémon for a desktop theme.  Now he enjoys a sports car background.  As we drive down the road, I get to learn all about every single car we share blacktop with. Somehow he even learned about sports team and has a favourite team. (Pretty big feat since we are not a sports watching family.  Mostly, I blame my father for loving Va Tech and a youth leader at church for loving the Steelers.) Over the course of the next year I will see Caramon earn his Eagle Scout, take on his first job as a leader at scout camp, and pray for me now… DANCES.

As for Joram, he is now a priesthood holder at church.  He takes his duties very seriously, as does Caramon. These two teach me more about faith by their simple actions.  I’m sure the next year I will see him take off, as Caramon has, into this early realm of manhood.

Watching my babies grow up is a gift.  One I can never repay.  Hug your kids. Tell them that you love them. And always remember that the time with them is more precious than pearls.

I may be “old”, but I hope that I can remain “cool” for a little while longer.

And I hope there’s many, many, many more birthdays to come!

–Lady O