This is our week for birthdays. Mark and Bethany were born 3 days less than a year a part. So in other words, for 3 days they are the same age.
But tomorrow my baby boy turns 15. Unbelievable.
At this time 15 years ago, I was in heavy labor. I knew I was having my baby that night. We drove to the hospital, only to be given the biggest glass of water to drink and a sleeping pill and told to go back home. Surely these were practice contractions. I knew they were wrong, but not wanting to make waves, I agreed and so back home we went.
Being determined to not be “that annoying patient”, I steeled myself to stay at home until the very last minute. And literally that’s exactly what I did. When we finally got back to the hospital, I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push, but no doctor. The nurse told me to not push and to wait for the doctor to arrive, so that’s what I did–again, wanting to be the compliant, non-complaining patient. I breathed in and out, in and out, in an out until finally the Dr. walked in to the room and I quit breathing and baby Mark was born.
Because of how traumatic his birth was, they insisted on giving me pain medication following the birth, in the form of Stadol. I’ve never had it again, but WOW–that was some potent stuff. They say I exclaimed “That was fun! Put him back in and let’s do it again!”, and they had to post a nurse by my side to remind me to breathe, I was so relaxed and feeling good. Yep. Stadol is the drug of choice for me.
Mark was such a good, good baby. And having his sister be born less than a year later, he quickly became very attached to her. Protective of her. They were raised like twins…..and best friends. They always had each other to go to and to play with. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way; I’m glad they were born so closely together.
Mark is my sensitive one. He has a huge conscious. It wasn’t unusual for him to lay in bed at night, and eventually get out of bed to ask us some deep question or confess something he had done wrong. He wants to be everyone’s friend, and sticks up for those that have no one to stick up for them. He wants to be a Doctor—has wanted to be a Doctor since he was little.
My Mark is our protector. He’d be embarrassed to know I shared this, but he sleeps in the living room on the couch, with his bow and arrow under the couch. He wants to be between the door and the rest of us in case someone were to break in. He used to refuse to allow me to drive anywhere by myself, for fear that I would get in an accident and die and it would be the last time he would see me. I love his precious heart.
Of all my crew, Mark grew up the fastest when his dad went to prison. He became the man of our household. It’s been toughest on him, I think, being fatherless, then the other three. He misses having his dad coach him in every sport–basketball, soccer, baseball, football. He misses being the “coach’s son”. I’m appreciative for the coaches he has had since his dad’s incarceration–for the one’s that have given him a little bit of extra encouragement and push to run harder and faster and to be the best that he can be. That’s priceless.
My boy and I have a special relationship. We have the best conversations. I cherish the time I have with him alone right after school, when he talks and talks and talks to me about his day. Those are some of my most favorite moments of the day. I am one proud mama.
Having two children with birthday’s so close gives me the opportunity to be just that much more thankful for all four of my crew. I honestly do not know where I would be without them. God has blessed us to be the tight-knit crew that we are. I am so grateful.