Today, my middle dude turned thirteen. I can vividly remember the day he was born. Well, that's not true. I can't remember what the weather was like, or what I was wearing, or what we ate for lunch that day. What I remember the most is the pain. Some people who either had a c-section or an epidural told me that I'd forget the pain eventually, and within a couple of years want another baby. But I still remember the searing pain of getting this kid outta my body to this day. But I can honestly say that it was worth it. Or rather, HE was worth it. Even as I write this, he is playing lacrosse with his birthday balloon (dangerously close to the new bookshelves with glass doors, but the kid is so coordinated I'm not too worried), whistling a tune. He is not yet a terrible teenager. Come to think of it, he wasn't a terrible two either. Paul has always been the happy kid, the one with all the energy, the one who wins all the contests but doesn't brag about it. Plus, he's always been a good sleeper, even when he was a baby. So he's a keeper.
This morning I was reading in Beth Kephart's beautifully written book A Slant of Sun, in which she describes what it is like to have a child. She says it better than I could:
Until I had [a child], I didn't understand the expression 'child of God.' But now I do. I understand that God's alive in him. That my son is a spiritual presence, grander in his architecture than I will ever be.
Happy Birthday, Paul. I heart you.