It hardly seems possible, but 21 years ago today I was laboring to bring my first child into the world. It had been a long hot summer and I was definitely tired of being pregnant. By early September, when people asked “when is the baby due?” my response was always, “September 25th, but if there is a God the baby will come early.” There is a God who has a powerful sense of humor. My son Liam was born just before midnight, 5 minutes early.
Much later, in the wee hours of the morning, my husband had gone home and I sat in bed holding my sleeping, golden haired, son in my arms. The room was dark except for the small reading lamp over the bed. As tired as I was, I wasn’t ready to let him go to the nursery so I talked softly to him. He wasn’t much of a conversationalist at the time so the chat was pretty one-sided, but I told him about every family member. I told him Uncle Mike (my brother) loved to tease, Uncle Greg plays the guitar, Aunt Janet loves a clean house, Uncle Mike (daddy’s brother) is very soft spoken, Aunt Georgie has an infectious laugh, Aunt Mary is a free spirit, Uncle Chris was studying to be an accountant and Uncle Liam…well he is big and furry and maybe a little scary to a wee lad but with a heart of pure gold. I told him about his cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents.
Although much of the ensuing 21 years are a blur, those first quiet moments alone with him are etched indelibly in my memories. I told him that I hoped he would grow into a kind, compassionate, loving man who would follow his dreams and make a difference in the world. Who knew he would listen so well? Happy Birthday Liam, I am proud of the man you have become.