At the age of 37, with four tweenies in the house, and almost two weeks over due (I'd developed a lot of patience by then), I gave birth (with no epidural thank you very much) to a beautiful little guy with ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. Life could not have been better. The entire family reveled in this new little person who turned our household upside down with diapers, cribs, and booties that had long-been put or given away.
Little did I know that in the decade to come this fifth child--so different from the other four-- would make a habit of taking me out of my comfort zone - turning me into a stage manager, vocal coach, dance coach, acting coach, cheerleader, and sometimes even performer (a Pick-a-little lady no less, on stage singing and dancing, complete with old-time gym uniform and giant feathered hat).
I also had no idea that just a decade later our roles would often reverse, and he'd become my chief cheerleader and sometimes caretaker. Or that he'd become my major source of strength for putting up the good fight. Sometimes I think this whole excursion would be easier if I didn't have him to care for or worry about. But then he says something adorable and innocent like "Do you want me to go to that madderation program at my school?" (maturation if you hadn't figured it out) and I'm beyond grateful that he's around to keep me motivated.
I would say something about how a no eleven-year-old should lose his Momma. Or even have to worry about losing his Momma. But that would make me cry. And we have enough drama in this house without me being in tears all the time. So I'll just leave it at that.