On August 15, 1992, I had a baby. I named him Jason. I was 17-years old-and had no idea what I was doing. This poor little baby was born to a mother with no experience, and barely any common sense for child-rearing. I was never so sleep deprived in my entire life. When would it end? I was exhausted, weak, and feeling hopeless some days.I couldn’t think past a couple of days. Getting through the next feeding, bath, and ride to the store were huge stressors at times. I learned to take one day at time. I also learned a tremendous amount of patience.
Soon it was time to grow up and get a job again. Jason was a bit older and I liked the idea of him spending time with other kids at the sitters. Plus, I got a little bit of my life back while I was at work. I almost felt like a person again!!
Preschool, then kindergarten…ahh it was nice to have the baby years behind us. Time was speeding by. By the time Jason was eight he had a sibling….then another, and another, and another.
In elementary school Jason played soccer and baseball. And he was really good at both sports. He bowled in a junior league. He made good grades. He rode a mean skateboard and had lots of friends. I’ll never forget the time he smoked cigarettes at the neighbor’s house where an older boy lived. His eyelashes were nearly singed off and he couldn’t figure out how I knew. Or the time he had a bunch of boys sleep over for his 13th birthday and they put water on one boy’s sleeping bag and pants and convinced him he had an accident! Then they all sat around telling made up stories of how they too wet the bed at night.
Jason was soft-spoken and patient. He loved his grannies, and he loved his mama.
He got into a fair share of trouble as a teenager. He wrecked his first car. He got three traffic tickets in the first four months of driving. He’s blown up motors, learned to buff and paint his own cars, and bought plenty of car parts real cheap and sold them for a profit. He still has time to school his brothers at basketball from time to time, and still likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Jason’s done well in his 20 years of life. I know it hasn’t been an easy road, because I too have traveled it. But he’s motivated and determined to make his mark in this world and I get the joy of watching him do it.
Happy 20th Birthday to my very first baby. You paved the way for four other children who are happy to have you as their brother.
I’m proud of you!