Today is September 10, 2010. Seventeen years ago I was "great with child," expecting my firstborn. We knew he would be a boy and had already picked out his name. Because of a late November due date, he was also selected by our Music Minister to play the role of Baby Jesus in the Christmas pageant to take place in early December. What an honor that was for us! I still am amused by the conversation I had with my obstetrician during the final weeks of my pregnancy, when we passed the initial due date set for his birth. "Doctor," I informed her, "my son has been selected to be Baby Jesus in our Christmas program this year and we probably should consider inducing labor." We laughed then, but I was greatly relieved that she cooperated and helped the process along. Chris made his theatrical debut at nine days of age, still the youngest Baby Jesus in the history of our church's Christmas pageant.
During the 2008-2009 school year I homeschooled Chris and his sister, Joy. Although our days were a mixture of joy and stress, it was an incredible bonding experience for us. When the adolescent hormones kicked in, Chris began to change and lose interest in school. We began to feel the full effects of having a teenager in the house. Having determined that Chris would function better in the structured setting of a classroom, we re-enrolled him in the public school system in 2009. That year was one of tremendous stress for all of us as he navigated the culture of a high school setting, tested the waters and our patience, and struggled to find his way. Because he wanted to catch up and be a junior this fall, Chris opted to forfeit friend time and sleeping late and chose instead to attend summer school. He worked hard, did well academically, and began making some very positive changes.
Tomorrow Chris starts his first job. How could seventeen years have passed so quickly? How could we have gone from lazy mornings watching Barney in our pajamas to bagging groceries in just the wink of an eye? I know that he won't be home with us much longer, but I am so proud of the young man he has become.
Chris, God has great things in store for you. If you will work hard, play hard, and above all, PRAY HARD, He will guide and direct you, bless and prosper you, and walk with you every step of the way.