My baby, my first born, will be 19 this week. Oh my — how I could go through the emotions that very night being only 19 years old myself knowing that in hours I would be bringing a life into this world.
20 hours, later March 5, 2003, in a snowstorm, I gave birth to a 7 lb, 11 oz baby boy who we would name Spencer Lee Chance.
That was the first time I had ever felt loved. I know that is odd and may not make sense to many, but in that moment laying eyes on my child, I knew what the real meaning of love was.
I did not grow up in a loving home, love was not a priority, and what “love” was shown was perverted. My opinion of love was skewed because of my upbringing.
That all changed on this day that I gave birth to Spencer.
I remember I would not let Spencer out of my arms. He was mine, and he needed me. I was going to protect him with everything in me.
I remember one moment it was just Spencer and I in the room. For whatever reason, I had a few hours with my new baby, I could not take my eyes off him.
I laid him in between my legs, and he was awake. I talked to him and promised him with tears streaming down my eyes how I would always love him and move mountains in every way possible if meant a better life for him. I promised him so many things in that little time, many things that in all honesty, I had no control over, but the love for my child triumphed over everything and I truly felt when speaking to him that I could physically move a mountain for him, if need be.
I was and am blessed to be married to a gentle man who has loved our children.
Spencer has always been such a great role model for his younger siblings. He was an athlete who went to state for his sport all four years, achieved good grades, always was home by curfew and never got in trouble. He was respectful and obeyed us as his parents.
Spencer has enough of his momma in him that a few months before he graduated high school, I could begin to see a change in him. He is itching to live and write his own book.
The minute Spencer graduated, his whole demeanor changed. He was 18 and an adult and felt he knew it all. He made a few bad choices, words were said, tears were shed and within a few hours, my first born decided he was ready to conquer this world without us, without his parents in it.
Oh, how my heart ached. I cried every night for days, for hours. I would pray for my son. I would talk to the people whom I trusted.
There were only a few people that knew what was going on. I only allowed individuals who would pray without judgment to be a part of such a personal time in my life. Thank you, God, for these friends, as they lifted me up in a way that only believers in Christ would understand.
Many parents would be ashamed, because they feel they must answer to society or keep up the persona on social media of a “happy family”. I was not ashamed. My child is human, and I was simply hurt. I began to question all my parenting ways, what would, could, or should I have done differently.
I am happy to announce that after months Spencer is back home and with us. He is still paving his own way.
I share this story of my first born in hopes to encourage others who are or will go through similar events with their own children.
We need to remember, this is a different world our children are growing up in, and it is not fair to hold them to the standards of the world you and I grew up in.
You and I did not have the worry, or the influence of social media, internet, in our face every day and answers to everyday questions in the palm of your hand.
Do not confuse this with excuses for our children, instead understand that they will always have a different mindset because their minds cannot imagine a life that their parents, you and I lived, as we are simply dated.
Spencer, you are 19 this week. You are not only my child, but also my friend. My prayer for you, you will allow God to walk with you while you pave your way through this new life you are trying to embrace. Love, Mom.
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