I have no idea what to write about today, but . . . I want to write. I must have something inside me that wants to come out and make itself known. Maybe I am full term with an idea and don’t even know it. Now, all of a sudden, it’s time to give birth.
Or maybe . . . it’s just gas. Right?
My grandson turned two years old yesterday, and we celebrated last night with a party that he will, no doubt, never remember in years to come. He was showered with toys (some of them were Thomas the Tank themed): trains, cars, trucks of all kinds, a swimming pool, sandbox, basketball goal, farmyard, Mickey Mouse utensils, etc. A veritable toy feast!
Of course, being the two-year-old that he is, he tended to just pick a couple trucks, or train cars, and play with them on the table. After all, how much does one little person need to keep them happy? There was conversation, lots of laughter and silliness, half-eaten ice cream cake, and even some tears (you can’t have a real party without a child at the party shedding a few tears, right?). A night to remember.
And, of course, many of us were there with our cameras and iPhones to capture it all for posterity.
It was probably similar to countless other birthday parties for two-year-olds. With one major exception: the birthday boy’s mother was in attendance.
You see, my grandson is an adopted child; he was adopted just after his birth two years ago. And my daughter and her husband have maintained a level of contact with his birth mother (and will continue to do so).
This was our first meeting with her as extended family. And it was a pleasure to meet the young woman who gave birth to such a fine little boy. He has had all of us wrapped around his tiny finger ever since he became a part of our family two years ago. Two years ago, on May 1st, I announced his entrance into the family to my departed father, standing by his grave stone, and grieving over the fact that he would never get to hold him in this life.
And I got to watch my mother gingerly hold him, and gaze at him with delight for many months before she passed from this life. In fact, it amazed me that this woman in her late 80s with so many physical trials and limitations would seem to come alive when my grandson was in the room. The woman who would not dream of bending over to pick up a glove she had dropped on the floor . . . could be seen straining to get at a plastic ball that my grandson had dropped on that same floor. And his tiny finger . . . may have been the last one she consciously reached out to touch not long before she passed from this life to the next.
He has breathed new life into us all.
As has his birth mother.
Without her, and her decision to put him up for adoption . . . none of this joy would have been passed to us. And I can’t think of anything with the power to animate my aging mother – than her love for that little boy. She would have passed from this life without knowing him at all. Now that – would have made me very sad.
But my grandson’s young mother looked at her life situation, and evaluated it with divine wisdom and fortitude. Then she decided that it would be best for her little boy to be raised in a situation other than the one she was in. I can’t imagine the weight of that choice. But I thank God that she made it. I can’t imagine our lives without him.
Decisions, decisions. We literally make thousands of them every day, don’t we? Many of them may not seem to matter very much. But some – are monumental, life-changing, and have enormous ramifications. One single decision has the power to set in motion a chain of events the impact of which can be as far reaching as the next generation. Or the one after that. Or . . . ad infinitum.
How about that for a measurement of impact? Is something like that even chartable in marketing? I understand that we have come to eat apples the way we do because of an ad campaign at the turn of the 19th century. Now, to “keep the doctor away” we consume apples in a variety of ways, clinging to whatever health miracles pectin promises.
What if you could offer a product that would change things in a positive way . . . forever? As in “the world will never be the same” – forever. As in “the positive effect on your life and the lives of your family members” will last – forever.
Forever results are what we get when people come into existence. The dominoes start to fall, the chain reaction commences, and the effect is permanent. For all time. That’s what you get with the introduction of a life into this world.
That little boy is with us because his mother made a decision to give him up; she knew she could not provide the home he needed. Now, my daughter and her husband make decisions on his behalf every day. Thousands of decisions. Some matter more than others. As time goes on he will make more and more of his own decisions. And the dominoes will continue their path, first touching one, then another, then another, then another, ad infinitum.
Where will it all end?
Well . . . it won’t!
I can only be grateful that for a time I was in the path of his smile, in the view of his infectious grin, in the wake of his laughter, and able to hold him in my arms. He calls to me in his uniquely sotto voce way – “Papa.” And I am one blessed in this life.
Who can measure how far this blessing will reach?
Thanks . . . to this invaluable gift from . . . his birth mother.