I peeked in on my son sleeping this morning, and was aghast at how tall he actually looked lying in bed. He is twelve years old, on the brink of his journey through Junior High, and I can hardly believe how much he's grown. I looked at his feet (now bigger than mine), and his hands (almost bigger than mine), and I thought, "These were punching my ribs and kicking my bladder not so long ago!"

My pregnancy with him was a tumultuous one. I was eighteen years old, humiliated, and scared out of my mind. I had made all the wrong decisions, and for some reason, God chose to bless me with a child. I remember that, even in the midst of my trepidation about the future, I knew that he was a gift. I knew that this unparalleled miracle should belong to someone else, someone who had planned him, who knew how to not only take care of a baby, but raise a child. He should have been born to someone who wasn't still a child, herself.

But then he was there, my little boy. This tiny thing, thrown into life with such anguish, brought to my world a joy as I've never experienced before and only duplicated once since then (when my daughter was born). He looked like me. He knew me from the moment he smelled me and heard my voice. I knew him with the familiarity that comes from having his sleep patterns and activity preferences recorded inside me for nine months. No other human being on earth had ever made such an impression on me...and all in one breath. He was beautiful.

Now this thing of beauty has grown into a pre-man creature that is at times bewildering and exasperating. He forgets things two minutes after he's told (except for TV commercials), his room is a pigsty, he hasn't done his laundry in months, and he still has to be reminded to brush his teeth at night.

But underneath it all, he still has the power to astound me. He was born a child of angst, yet he did so much with that. To this day, it is unreal to me. He took that anxiety, that sorrow, that cloak of fear that he was born under, and shone a light from inside it. He brought to my existence a purity that had not existed since my childhood, and one that is sadly absent from today’s youth. He is not always so blameless, but somehow, God protected him from the circumstances he was born into by placing in him a virtuous character that I wish I had retained at his age. It is this character that I pray will carry him through the turbulent adolescent years which I now realize are upon us.

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