Six years ago, on a dreary, rainy, cold January day, we proudly welcomed into the world Elijah Cooper Acklen, weighing in a 7 lbs, 8 oz. The clouds opened up and the sun poured through. Our life has never been the same.
I remember the wonder of it all. The unbelievable heart-swelling sensation of a love I'd never experienced. That only a new Mama can know. The heart-wrenching worry when he lost more weight than allowable and we had to stay in the hospital a day extra so he could be monitored.
How he struggled to latch-on to his new source of nourishment and was fed through a syringe and a tube with mommy's milk. The feeling of accomplishment, a few weeks later when he graduated to a shield that fit perfectly into his little mouth--it was so encouraging. And then, even more weeks later, when said shield got lost and he and I both cried all night long in frustration and I almost gave up and just gave him a bottle. A bottle that would not give him the superior nourishment of mommy's milk. But by the time the night was over he was feeding on Mama au naturale, like a seasoned pro. We did it. The first obstacle; we conquered it together.
And on we trudge through life, each year bringing new obstacles to be overcome. Together we conquer, until the day comes when he slips out of the cocoon and tests his own strength, completely independent on me and, I pray, completely dependent on the One who formed him so mysteriously. Even then I will still pray over, fuss over, and probably pry into his life. But for now I am going to enjoy his quirky, adorably nerdy, but always sunny personality. I'm going to joyfully tie his shoes and cut up his pancakes and savor the specialness of each every-day moment of mothering him.
Thank you, Lord, for this gift of my son.
Happy Birthday, Elijah Cooper Acklen!!