Posted by: chlost | April 23, 2012

In honor of Big J

Thirty-two years ago today, I became a mom.

On this day, at 12:18 am, my oldest son, all 10 lbs 13 oz. of him arrived. He looked like a three-month old compared to the other babies in the nursery. Everyone who looked at the babies commented on him.

My husband and I suddenly became a family. Merle had just turned 26 years old a week before. I was a little younger. Merle had finished college, and had been working for two years. I was working full time, and up to just a few months before our son’s birth, I had been a second-year law student as well. I worked during the day and went to school in the evenings. When our son was born, I took a semester off from school. My mother assumed that I would never return to school, and was very upset about this. I did return to school, finishing my degree. Our son’s infancy was spent with his parents passing him off at the front door. As one of us left, the other gave quick information, “He needs a diaper check”, “He woke up just a few minutes ago”, “He needs a bottle”. He had many ear infections and did not sleep easily. Those few years are a blur in my mind.

Even though he was a challenging baby, he was a very easy child. There were few battles. He loved to read, but also spent a lot of time outdoors. We were treated to numerous shows and plays he performed for us as a small child.

In many ways, the past thirty-two years seem like just yesterday. In my mind, I am certainly not thirty-two years older. Certainly I am not old enough to have a thirty-two year old child. But our son is the incontrovertible evidence of our age.

Our son is now 6’4” tall, and very thin. He has one of the lowest body fat index numbers I’ve seen.

He runs. Miles. Voluntarily.

He has light brown hair, blue eyes, and a great smile.  He currently has a beard, and is quite handsome. No, I am not saying that just as his mom. There appear to be many young women who agree with me, although he has not yet found his “Ms. Right”.

He is very smart (he is soon to receive his Master’s Degree, which he is earning while working full time-huh!). He was second in his high school graduation class. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from his college.  His Bachelor’s Degree is in theater, and he has worked as an actor. He is very comfortable in front of people, and knows how to reach an audience.

He is a very honorable man. He follows the rules. He expects that others will act honorably. He is genuinely surprised when he learns that others do not always have good intentions. He is responsible with his money. He has purchased a duplex, lives in the upper unit and rents out the lower unit. He takes care of the maintenance himself.

As our oldest child, he had to suffer through the low end of our parenting learning curve. We were novices. Merle had never held a baby until he held this son. We handled it all by the seat of our pants.

We learned that we had to back each other up in any decision, whether we agreed or not. We learned to pick our battles. We learned that we had to respect our children in order to be respected by our children. We learned to let the small stuff slide and keep the big picture in mind. But those things were all learned “on the job” while parenting this son.

He taught us well.

Thanks, Big J!

We love you.



  1. Happy Birthday to Big J. That was one big baby!!!

    • Thanks…he hates to be reminded of how big he was.

  2. Happy Birthday to your son. My what a special man he has turned out to be. You might have been flying by the seat of your pants, but you obviously did a great job. Be proud.

  3. A very happy birthday to your son!

    • Thanks-it is always a special day for me.

  4. This is so sweet, I’m tearing up. I can feel the pride you have for your oldest baby. You may have been winging it, but it sounds like you did a-okay. Hope he had a wonderful birthday! (I’m a bit behind on reading. Sorry!)

    • Thank you. We are very proud of all of our kids, but he was the test case!

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