The Dragon’s Roar

When he was little, we called him Hurricane Asher, crashing through life with an exuberance and momentum that left both excitement and chaos in his wake. He was busy. His mind never ceased to amaze us with how much he remembered, how quickly he learned, and how much he analyzed and reasoned.

He is still the same now. Bounding through life with enthusiasm and energy. My strong-willed child who has left me exhausted after battles and yet won my heart to even richer depths with the strength of his passion and his love. I have never seen such a mix of compassion and tenderness yet strong-will and determination in a person. And I love that about him. Actually, I love everything about him, even after long days of parenting a child who doesn’t want to be parented. I love holding him and having conversations about life. I love that he’s not afraid to share his heart with me… and I with him.

I loved him from the moment I knew he was inside me, the first of our three miracles after the pain of loss. I loved him when I heard that little heartbeat. I loved him when they declared those words, “It’s a boy!” after hours of labor.

Eight years ago today my world became a more beautiful place. This boy with the long eyelashes and huge brown eyes. This boy with the ability to fill my days with sunshine’s warmth and storm’s chill. He is a mystery to me. A beautiful mystery.
God’s gift to me.
Asher. “Blessed. Happy.” That is his name. That is what I am filled with every day he is here with me, even the hard days.

Last night I crept into his room in the wee hours of the morning when I was unable to sleep and I stared at this marvelous creation, stroking back too long bangs that need to be trimmed, but he hates haircuts now. And I wept, silently grieving over time’s passing. I wept over a boy who is far too quickly leaving behind those little boy things. I wept over lost time with him these past 2 1/2 years. I wept over his suffering, his fears, his longing for Mommy to be well. I wept over mistakes I’ve made and fears I face. I wept over toys tossed aside and imagination transforming into reality. I wept over a boy who’s Magic Dragon is starting to quiet it’s roar.

“I’m not ready.” I whispered to God. “I’m not ready for an eight-year-old. I don’t want him to lose his innocence. I don’t want ‘Jackie Paper’ to stop coming and Puff to cease his mighty roar.” Yet I know it’s inevitable, and I know this growing up is beautiful, too. That I will only grow deeper in love with my child as I watch him move onward. My heart will only swell with pride in his accomplishments and his heart for others. I will grow with him as I let him go, offering him back to God daily. “He’s not mine, Lord. He’s yours.” And then I wept with happiness at how full he has made my life, how thankful I am for him.

And I know I will have the past memories to smile over, the present days to rejoice in, and the future memories to make. He has made our lives so very rich. So very rich.

And yesterday when we got home from church, he jumped out of the van, blew his frosty breath into the air, glanced at me with sparkling eyes and said, “Look, Mom, I’m a dragon.”

And I heard the dragon’s roar loud and clear. And my heart was at peace.
I love you, my son.

Happy birthday.

14 responses to “The Dragon’s Roar”

  1. Something seems to be wrong with your web site. The text gets blurry as you read along.


  2. Oh how I love this. Your love for him is just spilling all over my computer screen. I understand both your sad weeping and your happy weeping. So well. You are an amazing gift to your birthday boy.

    (and also, because it never ceases to amaze me, I could not believe how you were describing my Miles as I read this. Of course, we both have an Asher, but our first borns? Oh boy does it ever sound like they’re alike. I know who to come to for some advice now. It’s a beautiful kind of hard, but sometimes I REALLY don’t know what I’m doing.) 🙂


  3. Grandma and Grandad Avatar
    Grandma and Grandad

    With tears flowing, we say what a beautiful post for one of our beautiful gifts!

    Our sweet Asher is a wonderful gift from God.

    Much love and happy birthday wishes to our sweet Asher!


  4. Huh, Jeff is right. I’ll have to look into that…


  5. Angie,
    I always love your birthday posts. I love that your kids will be able to look back and see exactly how you felt about them and all the things you love about them! Though you show them how you feel everyday 🙂 And geez, I can’t believe Asher is 8! I think no matter how old he gets he will always have a wonderful imagination, even if his dreams and imaginings start to change…I don’t think its possible to live in your house without a sense of wonder and a bit of imagination! We love and miss you guys! Tell Ash Happy Birthday from Miss Em and Mr Drew!


  6. I can so relate! This has been/will be a year of changes for us with my oldest getting married (january 2nd! we survived!) and my youngest graduating from high school. I’ve spent a lot of time lately missing my little girl and boy. Enjoy every moment…


  7. Avatar

    My dear Angie,

    What a heart you have. No wonder your son is the way he is, he has the most beautiful Mother to draw the beauty of God from. He is blessed. Your heart overflows to these sweet ones. What a blessing. Thanks so much for sharing the beauty of His image in your life.

    Happy Birthday Asher. You are so handsome!!!!

    Love and blessings,


  8. Grandma and Grandpa Avatar
    Grandma and Grandpa

    Eight years ago today we began an adventure also. We’ve watched our children become parents and our absolutely wonderful grandchildren grow and flourish. Asher is the oldest of our “brood” – watching him rush headfirst into life is a joy. Happy Birthday Asher – we love you!

    PS – glad to know the blurry words are on the website – I thought my screen was the culprit 🙂


  9. Love the picture of him asleep with his book. Happy Birthday to your boy. What a great post.


  10. Happy Birthday Asher!

    And what a beautiful post by his mama :).


  11. What a wonderful tribute to your growing boy! Happy Birthday Asher!!


  12. Happy birthday to such a handsome and gifted little man. I love you Ash. Can’t wait to see you in your 8th year!

    Love the post Angie. You are truly a one-of-a-kind mom…i look up to you so much!


  13. Well, I think you know that I GET IT!!! He sounds a lot like my 8 year old. 🙂 What beautiful words you write about him. Just plain beautiful Angie!

    Happy birthday to your Asher.


  14. Angie,
    I swear sometimes, you must be peaking in my windows, listening to my prayers, and my conversations with people, about how the years with these children are going on and on, and they don’t stop and wait for cancer, or pain that Greg says is driving him out of his mind,or Lupus, or hospitalizations, weeks of fatigue, etc. I was talking on the phone just earlier today about that very thing, because I am stunned that Ali is 13, and I can see that Nicholas has become so mature, and his teacher is so pleased with him in school. He is also very sensitive.
    He turned 8 in December. And I have been thinking that, had I known our crisis was going to last this long, I would have somehow put something in place, so that too many days were wasted days, as the days blur into weeks, months and years. So, my goal is to not look back on these days, and sadly say that we missed them. My goal is to live them well as best we can, in relationship with each other. The kids know they are loved…but I want them to remember more than just the love…I want them to remember safety and security, time together, special memories made, and I just want to relish in every cuddle. Most nights I lay down beside Nick and rub his back while he goes to sleep. Some would say he’s too old for that, la la la. I don’t care. That’s what we do! But he knows he can’t expect it every night. I hope 8 lasts a long, long time. 7 and 8 are one of my favorite ages. And even my grandbabies are growing up fast. Kathryn is 3 and Jackson is 16 months. Sorry my comment is long. But I hear you Angie…my heart is right there with you!


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