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.
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