Monday, May 9, 2011

Those three words

"It's a boy."

My oldest son, Jeff, turned 18 last week. On his birthday, while I was at work, I sporadically listed to my friends things my 'baby' could now do. This evening, he did one of the numerous things on my list - he bought some scratch off lottery tickets.

Over the course of the evening, I've reminisced particular things that have happened over the course of his life... And i realized just how many of these things Jeff has no recollection of because he was alive, yes, but was but a wee peanut still growing in my belly.

I've decided to share some things so he can get a peek inside and share a glimpse of how our lives evolved around him, before, during, and after his birth.

My husband, John, and I married at eighteen, just five months after we graduated high school. On our one-year wedding anniversary in October of 1992, I was two months pregnant.

John and I were still living with my "Mom," my grandmother who raised me.

John's half sister, Melissa, and her husband (also named John) had recently moved in right down the road from us, and we spent a lot of time with them before and during the pregnancy. Melissa was pregnant at the same time I was and we actually went and got tested at the same time to confirm.

(Though Melissa and John had moved away to a different state by the end of our pregnancies, we almost delivered at the same time- your cousin was born the day after you on May 4th.)

The day I'd went and got tested to confirm was also the day I told my Mom we were expecting. With the same breath, I also told her that, if it was a boy, he would be named... Jeffrey.

Even though John and I had  been married less than a year, and I was only 19, I'd already known for a long time that my first son would be named Jeff- after my father.

My father had been killed in an accident in 1976 when I was three. I never knew him, but I knew without a doubt that he was a kind and good man. And this was one way I knew his memory would live on, even past me.

If I have one regret, it is that I did not go further and give Jeffrey the middle name of "Wilhite," my maiden name and my father's last name. We picked the middle name of William simply because it fit nicely and seemed to work well.

(Though your Dad never really had a choice and never disagreed with naming you Jeffrey, he rebelliously called you "Junior" after you were born. But, that wore off after a couple weeks.)

I was working as a cashier at "The Eagles Nest" during my pregnancy. (The cafe at the University of Southern Indiana) The college students that came through my line every day watched as my belly grew bigger and bigger.

(And then one day, I wasn't there when they came thru the line. We were at the hospital instead- because it was the day you decided you were ready to see the world. Well, it was the day before, actually. You took your time.)

We were at the hospital around 1pm in the afternoon on May 2nd and just after 1am in the morning on May 3rd, we had a beautiful baby boy in our arms.

Over the course of the nine months, everyone had convinced us that we were having a girl. We'd picked the name Jessica Lynn, just in case.

I am thankful, and grateful, that our "Jeffrey" arrived as we'd originally and initially planned.

(I can't imagine our lives without YOU.)

Our little beautiful and perfect baby boy is now EIGHTEEN, and graduating high school in less than a month. Our first son has matured and grown to be such a wonderful, intelligent, funny, creative, and just awesome person all around.

It's simply mind boggling as it seems it was just yesterday that we heard those three words... "It's a boy."

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