Today is the day we celebrate the birth of our oldest son; he was born twenty-nine years ago. I don’t know anything about his birth, other than he was over nine pounds! I can’t tell his pregnancy or birth story, because I wasn’t there.

I call him “my love-child” because I got him when I fell in love.

I don’t know if it was bleached blonde hair or his raspy little voice, but this little man had me at ‘hello’.  He was full of energy when I met him; he was just two years old. He would bounce his whole torso against the seat of the car for an entire forty-five minute trip. He could run up and down a block repeatedly. Yet he was also such a tender little man. He liked to snuggle in close as I read him story after story.  And he tried to remain strong if I beat him in Memory or Candyland.

He stood at the front of the church when I walked down the aisle.  He winked at me as he held the satin pillow in his hands.  During the long, long service he counted all the candles on the altar.  That little four-year old stood patiently through an almost hour-long wedding.

Although he didn’t ever live with me, he visited often.  I treasured those visits — time for more stories, adventures at the park, and sitting together in church.  As he got older, he started beating me in Memory and Candyland and basketball and Battleship and everything else.  The little blond who had once sat on my lap and snuggled in close became an adolescent who towered over me, a gentle giant.

I walked him into his first day of kindergarten, then watched him graduate from fifth grade, from eighth grade, from high school, from college, and just this year, from his Master’s program. I got to watch his football games, band concerts, and basketball games.

My love-child became an excellent big brother to six younger siblings — three at our house, and three at his other parents’.  He read them stories and beat them in games and hugged them tight.  He shared his vacations crammed in the back of an eight-passenger van playing with children much younger than him. He drove miles and miles for them and for us. And they (and we) love him.

In less than a month, my love-child is going to be a daddy — an excellent daddy.  He’s going to love his little girl, bounce with her when she’s fussy, run with her when she has energy, read to her when she’s sleepy, and beat her (most of the time) in Memory and Candyland until she can legitimately beat him.  He’s going to walk her into her first day of kindergarten, go to all her events whether she dances or tumbles or dives or runs, and he’s going to love her like crazy.

I hope she’s a blond with a raspy voice, but she’s already got us, and she hasn’t even said ‘hello’.  My love-child’s love-child.

Psalm 127:3

Children are a heritage of the Lord, offspring a reward from him.