How in the world could it be that you are turning 13 today? THIRTEEN! I guess to look at you, I could say you are 13 going on 23 - what with the facial hair, and the fact that I now have to look up to see you - as you are officially taller than me.
I was so proud of how you navigated this morning. You wanted to go golfing - and the 30 mile an hour wind was not going to stop you. You called a friend's mom, asked for a ride, and then called the golf course and made your own tee time. You ate, fed the dog, and got everything ready to go. Where did my "little" boy go?
I know I scared you last night. I forgot you were still up. I got up out of bed doubled over from sharp pains in my stomach. I heard the worry and concern in your voice as you helped find Dad. I needed the help of Dr. Google, and strong meds to combat another tricky side effect of Xeloda. But you stood strong, holding me up, instead of running away. I both hate that you have to see that, but can tell, its growing you into even more of a kind and compassionate soul.
You've added such a richness to my life buddy. A bold, yet soft, tangled, but beautiful, sensitive, and strong, thread to the fabric of you and I. I always knew when my due date was "Mother's Day," 13 years ago, that you and I would be forever bonded in a special way.
My body is weak today, but my heart is filled with all things you. You ran outside waiting for your ride as I sat at the kitchen table, resting my head on the coolness of the wood. Lickety-split you ran back in, pulled me up, and hugged me. Big. All of you, wrapping yourself around all of me.
And that will always be enough buddy, to see me through. You are always more than enough.
I'm reaching back today- to my favorite Nolan story...
I have an entire journal filled with "Nolan" stories. No story however, comes close to topping his story about God and the sunburn.
When Nolan was three he had gone to play the Sunday golf game with his dad one April day. It was unusually warm that day and got up into the mid 60's. It was just warm enough to catch us off-guard and Nolan experienced his first sun burn. Oh did he howl when I gave him his bath that night. He could not fathom how that red had gotten on his skin. We put some ointment on it and put him in bed and he was much better in the morning.
A few days later after his bath he came to me. We'd had one of those days. I was in bed, emotionally drained and exhausted. Its hard to be three. Its even harder to be a parent of a child who is three. I was startled to see him creeping into my room. His eyes were downcast. His voice was somber and serious. "Mom, he said, his voice filled with resignation, "I think I'm dying." I got up from the bed. My mind started to spin.
I said "Nolan, what is wrong?"
"My skins coming off," he said. "I must be dying."
I said, "Nolan, what have you been doing? Did you get into something? DID YOU PUT SOMETHING IN YOUR MOUTH?"
"Oh mom," he said, "Every day I do. You tell me not to, but I do. I just can't help it.
"What Nolan, tell me what you put in your mouth?"
"I ate grass once," he said. "I eat dog food all the time. Oh, and I licked the bottom of my shoe. Yesterday I tasted the side of the car and its pooey mom, don't ever put your tongue on it!"
By now I am trying to hold my sides that are jiggling from the laughter trying to escape.
"Now my skin is coming off. Mom, I'll probably be going to heaven tonight. Don't be sad."
I am leaning over inspecting what I realized is the peeling sunburn now and hugging him at the same time.
"Oh Nolan" I managed to choke out.
As I go to get some lotion he tells me he has to use the bathroom. I holler at him to close the door and wait for him to return. As he comes around the corner he is smiling. "Mom! I've got it," he says. "Do you think God goes potty? Because if he does, and he closes the door, I'll just sneak down from Heaven when he isn't looking and give you a hug so you won't miss me too much."
And with that he ran back to bed.
He is a keeper that one. He tries our patience, and manages to find our last nerve some days. But the joy he brings, the laughter, the unique way of being in this world. He is more, and with that, we are more too. I can't wait to have the rest of this journey with him.
We love you Nolan! Happy 13th Birthday!