That's what my baby was TWELVE YEARS AGO today. My oldest turned 12 today. In some cultures, he would be a man. In "Mamaland" he's still a little boy. A little boy who still wants to cuddle up on the couch with me when he first wakes up. A little boy who still hugs and kisses me in public...in front of his friends. A little boy who comes to me when he gets hurt and wants me to make it better.
When I first started this blog, I wrote a post introducing each of my children. The following is what I wrote about my firstborn. The child I prayed for. The child I wanted so badly. The first of four amazing gifts from God....
Wow, for some reason it is really hard for me to start to write about Benji. Benji was my first baby. I prayed for him. I asked for him. He was a direct answer from God to my prayer. When Benji was born it was just he and I all day long until Daddy came home. Benji was an angel baby. I took him EVERYWHERE and he was never fussy. We went to the mall, to movies, on walks to the 7 Eleven for a Slurpee, and he was happy and pleasant, a true joy. He sat still and quiet while I got my hair permed (2 hours mind you), he patiently was passed up and down the rows at church because everyone wanted to hold him, and he sat quietly in his carseat during Worship Team practice because both Daddy and I were on the team. People stopped me wherever I went to look at him because he was so beautiful. He was the perfect baby. He made me want to have 10 children. He's now 11 years old, and no longer quite so perfect, but he comes pretty close...most of the time!
You will see from the before and after pictures above, a big part of Benji's personality. Benji likes to have FUN! And fun sometimes comes at a price. (Our dentist has suggested bubblewrap!) He fell in our hotel room when he was 4--while we were frantically packing up to get out of there by checkout time--and split his chin open requiring 4 stitches. (I still haven't forgiven Ben (Daddy) for making me stay behind and finish packing while he rushed my baby to the ER.....without me. But that's a different story.)Then, when he was 8, he fell out of a tree at the park and tore his spleen. (This time I rushed him to the ER and left Daddy with the other kids.) We spent 4 days together in Children's hospital, he and I, after that one. And most recently, as you can see, he was playing "Hide-and-Seek" in the dark and ran into a hanging plant and broke his tooth. (Now I should note that his lip was completely unharmed...meaning, he was smiling! BIG! when he hit that pot!) None of my other kids have ever been to the ER at all. Apparently, they have learned well from Benji's mistakes!
Benji is also my athlete. He has LOVED baseball since he was 3 years old. He has played on a team since he was 5, and from time to time has dreams of playing in the Big Leagues. He also LOVES football although he isn't as good at football as he is at baseball, he REALLY loves playing the game. (That's MY boy!) Benji's only problem with sports is his mom...you see, growing up, I was a skinny-and by skinny, I mean BONEY-kid. EVERYONE made fun of me to the point that I wore sweat pants under my jeans to make myself look "normal". I am also about 5'2" tall. Now, I did try...Ben (my sweetheart husband) is 6'2" and about 175-180 lbs. Very healthy, very athleticly (is that a word?) built. Unfortunately for Benji, he is his mama's boy. He just doesn't have the size and power to be a true force at the bat or on the football field yet. So, he plays skill positions and doesn't care that he's little. I like that about Benji, he's just having fun playing the game. He doesn't care about being bigger, or stronger, he just wants to play.
Man, I could write for three more days and still think of things to tell you about Benji, but then who would feed the kids and the man? However, what I MUST tell you about Benji is that Benji is truly "Benjamin--the son of my right hand". Benji is my helper whenever I need him. He helps me with the cakes, he helps me with the other kids, and when my kidneys are acting up and I can't get up off of the couch, he helps take care of me. Benji and I are more than just mom and son, we are friends. He still gets up in the morning and comes to snuggle with me before everyone else gets up. He still kisses and hugs me in public, and tells me he loves me in front of his friends...sob... And he still looks for me in the stands during his games after he has made a good play to see if I saw it. (Are you crying yet? I'm darn close over here myself!)
Gosh, I LOVE THAT BOY!!!