Saturday, July 31, 2010

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Today, July 31, 2010 records a distinguished chapter in our family history. My son is being hooded in a grand summer ceremony in Stegeman Coliseum at UGA. David receives his PHD in Bio Chemistry and  Molecular Biology. 
The first chapter was written into my book the day he came into the world.  After hours and hours of natural labor and well into transition, I wondered if Lamaze was a man, because right about then, I wanted to take his bottom lip, stretch it over his skull, give him an epimysiotomy, and watch his head pop out. 

Finally, my little prince was crowned and out he came, all boy! The rest is history. Now, he stands well above me. But, when I look into his eyes, I see the little boy that stood before me on his first day of school, surrounded by the young man on his way to a bright and promising future. And this is what I want to say to him.

Dear David,
The day you were born I felt like I was given the greatest gift on earth.  When we were alone, I cradled you in my arms and gently unwrapped you from the blue hospital blanket. I counted your fingers and your toes touching each one as I numbered them. And then, I lifted you up and dedicated your life to God asking that you would do great things, and you have.

The day you left for kindergarten and college felt the same for me; pride mixed with sorrow. I kept thinking to myself. "My little boy is  growing up. He is starting school. He is taking his first steps to making  his own way in the world. Will he be kept safe? What can I say to him to assure he is prepared?" But, the only words I could force past the ache of letting you go, was "I love you." 

Up to that moment in kindergarten, I held your heart. Until one morning you left for school  wanting to bring Mrs. Margis flowers from our back yard. I knew then you had given  away a tiny piece of your heart, and bigger pieces would be given away later. I am so glad the bigger piece now belongs to Fabi. She is wonderful!

The day you left for college, mini videos flooded my mind; your first steps, birthdays, dinosaurs and legos, gardens and trees, your famous words, "Mom, I have three things...", and a scrapbook filled with certificates for the best. I suddenly felt terribly inept. I held your lifetime in my heart for that moment. But you were always competent and independent in your knowledge, and I was insecure and like a glass, half empty of what I could give to you.

The pride I feel for you is so overwhelming I can barely contain it. Tears are my only outlet. Tears for the minutes I mused over you, and the minutes I missed. I hear your voice say, "Mom, it's ok. Don't worry about it." Yet, I find myself wanting to confess to you my imperfections, explain away my inadequacies, and apologize for my parental psychoneurosis; as if you have some giant eraser to wipe the board clean and exonerate me from all my mistakes. 

Today, you are the doctor in the house. Your list of achievements is long and I know will grow longer still. You amaze me, and fill me with pride. But the real value is not in what you have done or will do, but in the fact that you exist and I have the honor to call you my son. My wish is that all your wishes and dreams come true, and your concoctions make history.

Once again I find myself standing at a doorway thinking to myself, "My little boy has grown up. He has finished school. He is making the world a better place. What can I say to him?" The only words I can force past my tears are, "I'm so very proud of you and I love you!"


1 comment:

Thanks for taking a walk with me. Please feel free to leave your footprints.

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