He sings and strums and brightens my life. Everyday.
If you know me, you know that my oldest is my only boy and he is a bright jewel in the crown I wear as queen of the little palace where we live our story. He isn’t like anyone you have ever met and I want to introduce you to a little excerpt of his story.
He imagines. He loves. He struggles. He encourages. He creates. He is brave. He is strong.
Imaginer, dreamer, singer, creator, friend – boy – turned 17 this month. (20, today).
What do you know about him? Do you “know” how he regards everyone? Do you see how he lets no soul or smile or sad one go unnoticed? Is it his laugh and long stride that you lose yourself in when he is near you and then is gone? Do you recognize his soft heart and artless lack of inhibitions in every situation? Do you know his compassion and willingness to serve and outstanding patience with people of every age?
Or do you know his inside made outside talents. . . leader, worshipper, musician, artist, guitarist, speaker, programmer, designer?
Has he touched your world? Has he moved you? Is he your friend? Does knowing him change your life? Knowing him changed my everything. Let me share.
17 is how old I was when I had this boy.
At 17, you have choices. And in my life several choices were made without fully knowing the gravity of the choice’s consequences.
At 17. I was rounding out the last year of my “college-bound” track to “success” in Northern California. I worked part time as a waitress and full time as a student of academics and life. Having been accepted and on track for a “full ride” academic scholarship to the University of California at Santa Cruz; the senior year I had planned was one of excellence and rigor. I was the reigning Miss Auburn, traveling the state representing the young women of tomorrow.
I had plans. Real plans. I also had choices.
One month into my senior year, newly sworn in as senior class president and varsity dance team leader. . . I missed a day of school. because I stayed home.
With morning sickness.
Fast forward two months. My parents knew we were pregnant. My school counselors knew my “condition.” A few close friends knew what was happening in my body; but few knew what was happening in my heart.
Everyone offered me choices. In full view of my plans, I considered all the choices.
In my upbringing, I had not been educated about the consequences of abortion and while it was only subtly suggested; it was suggested. And so this “choice”, followed by a close second of adoption took the standing as my closest considerations.
After all, at 17, it seemed there was a lot at stake to “choose” to have a baby now.
I’ll spare you the details of counsel and lists and rants and weeping and breakdowns that happened along the way to June 19,1996. But know that only a power greater than myself guided the season and molded my heart.
At 17, a Valedictorian with a baby bump would be my story. But not as a Bruin. I would graduate from a very small “pregnant and parenting high school” in the mountains because my school asked me to leave. They told me a leader shouldn’t display her choices as Senior Class President. Or at all on their campus. UCSC invited me to attend their school, but reserved the scholarship for students who live in the dorms. Not the family dorms.
I wish I could tell you the mystical moment I made the decision to keep the baby and opened a new chapter in my mind where things would go, not as I planned. I cannot tell you the day, but It was somewhere in the broken dreaming that I found a rock to stand on and a foundation to build a home where I would raise my own. It was as if I was given a new kind of beginning.
A chance to give a life and give MY life to a greater good changed everything.
He changed my life. He changed everything. And if you know him, he has made an impact on you in a way you know has changed you.
If you haven’t met him, you will.
He is a world changer. At 17. (With two decades to celebrate . . . he has a life ahead, full of choices.)