When I held my baby boy in my arms for the first time, a calm peace rested in my heart, and I knew in that instant, that I was meant to be his mother. All the chaos, confusion and sadness, that had been my life up until that point, melted away, and I knew, without a doubt, that God had given me the greatest gift in all the world.
I never wanted to be a mother. Spending most of my life until that point babysitting, I had thought it was time for me to be me....to do things without the worry of taking care of others.
It turns out, being a mother is much more than just being responsible for other humans- making sure they are happy, safe, fed and rested. Those were just "things to do". Motherhood is really about love. You do those "things" out of an immeasurable desire....not just because they are necessary.
I didn't look into my son's eyes and wonder what he would grow to become. Actually, I wondered what I would become. I wondered if I could be a good mother, reminiscing on the mother's who I had known and influenced me in a positive way. Could I really be a "good mother"?
Being a mother is the most important thing to be, I decided. And I was going to give it my everything, no matter how hard it was or what obstacles were put in my way. This precious child God had put into my life deserved the best of me. He deserved happiness and unconditional love.
That's when I decided who I was.
I was Tristen's mom.
Tristen turns 18 tomorrow.
When I was 15, I saw in my future a college far away from home and a professional career. I would live alone in the woods and people would refer to me as "the Crazy Cat Lady".
Three years later, I knew my destiny was to be a mother, but I had no idea the challenges ahead or where we would be in less than 2 decades.
This son of mine has taught me more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined.
What it looks like to have a pure heart.
He has shown me the power of prayer.
The light of Christ shines through him.
Honesty, despite consequences.
So today, as I think about the boy I have raised, and the man he is about to become, I don't feel sad that he isn't off to college next fall. He may not have a girlfriend or be able to drive a car, but MY SON has amazing qualities that most people spend a life-time aspiring to.
And while we prepare for the next steps in his life, I have no doubt he will continue in greatness. He is not tempted by the devil as most of us are. Tristen clings to righteousness, going forward in faith.
Really, what more can a mother ask for?