"Harrumph," I replied, (Please note that since neither of these interactions occurred 'out-loud' they technically cannot be considered talking to myself.) I strengthened my resolve in this conviction and pushed any further thought of the matter as far away as possible.
Until about 2 hours later. I was sitting with Christopher in the recovery room trying to pretend the tubes coming out of his arm, the blood on his lips and the cheeks swollen to 3 times their normal size didn't bother me. I was wondering how I could pick up my 6 ft , 170 lb 'baby' in my arms and rock him until all his 'boo-boos' were better. I was looking at the wonderful blanket that was wrapped snugly and gently around his legs and feet. One of the many blankets donated by the Seroptomists Club to children 18 and under who require hospitalization.
And then that sweet looking nurse came in. She said that if I didn't mind, she had a small gift for Christopher when he woke up. I said, "Sure," wondering if this time it would be a stuffed animal or a book? A few minutes later, when Christopher was alert enough to converse, the nurse came back in and began to explain that she had been told that he was going to be entering the Marines. So in support of his decision, would he please accept a St. Michaels medallion to remind him that God was always watching over him and that others were praying for him.
What was she saying?
I was no longer sure I liked this woman. Did she not know that this is the boy that I still have to remind to take out the garbage and yes, even brush his teeth. This is the boy that likes to harass his brothers and sometimes doesn't act as mature as our 6 year old. This is the boy who is constantly losing stuff and forgetting stuff and leaving a messy trail behind him where ever he goes. This is the boy, my boy, that needed me to bring him to the hospital and reassure him that it would be alright, that there was nothing to be afraid of, that the doctors truly did know what they were doing.
I was no longer sure I liked this woman.
But this was also the young man that loved to serve as a camp counselor at bible camp. The young man that had been across 6 different states and to 2 foreign countries on mission trips. The young man that had run 2 half marathons. The young man that had worked 2 jobs over the 2 last years to pay for his own insurance and buy his first car - with cash. This was the young man that had made the difficult decision to join the Marines in order to not only serve his country but, also, to get an education.
"But what will he do with out his mom? Who will take care of him? Protect him? Encourage him?" I ranted to myself.
"I will." That little voice piped up again.
"I will. Remember me? The one who created him, who breathed life back into his little blue lungs, the one who has allowed him to grow into this young man so that he can serve the purpose for which I created him?"
"Oh, you. Uh, Hi, God." " I mumbled... or was it 'humbled'.
In one quick milli-second, God reminded me that he was in control. And that he had it all under control. He reminded me that no matter how much this mother's love for her child was, it could never be greater than that child's creator. He reminded me that where a mom cannot go, God can.
It was then that a little glimmer of reality began to set in. As I looked again at my precious first born, the one that was born blue and we almost lost at birth, I struggled to comprehend that maybe it was indeed time to let go.
He still has some maturing to do (researchers assure us the rational part of the adolescent brain will not fully develop until age 25.) But it will happen and I am sure the Marines will have a huge hand in that. But for now I need to let him go right where he is at, somewhere in between a boy and a man, and trust that God will follow through with his promise that
"he has great plans for you, Christopher, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a great future."
In the meantime, I'll check my Jello and pizza supply. Cuz, after all, once a mom...always a mom.
All grown up (almost).