When the Firstborn Finds a Wife

My many-years-an-adult son came home last week. We had not seen one another for almost exactly five years. He looked very much the same, with one major exception:  the wedding band on his left ring finger, representing the young lady who accompanied him.

Like nearly all Moms, I spent my children’s youths praying for two things, 1.  Enough love, patience, and wisdom to not kill the children (due mostly to Mom’s faults, not only theirs). I listened to and laughed along with A LOT of Bill Cosby in years gone by! 2.  That the days of the teenage years would advance very swiftly (they did not).

Firstborn son was born rather stubborn and non-conformist. He would be hungrier earlier than the other newborns, prompting nurses to ask if they could bring #1 ahead of ‘schedule’. He was the first to leave, I don’t know for sure but suspect, everlasting stretch marks on my stomach and a C-section scar from hip to hip. He also was non-conforming (or maybe that should be demandingly conforming) about his intended birthdate. I read lots of books and heard much advice regarding first pregnancies. Many go past the due date by a week or two. Being born two months early, myself, I should have known better than to try to stick to some type of concrete approximating, even though I was certain I should not expect a baby to be born right on the due date. I also was certain I was having a girl…so much for my prophetic prowess.

Five days before my exact due date, I had my scheduled OB appointment. The medical assistant seated me in the room, asked how I was feeling (F-A-T), and wrapped the blood pressure cuff around my arm. She left after recording the reading. About two minutes later, the doctor walked in. My blood pressure was sky-high and there would be no one at home to tend to me, so it was off to the hospital. I would be diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a forerunner of full-blown eclampsia, which includes such nasties as seizures and coma. Luckily, I acquired the condition quite late in term. For four days, I was bedridden and had to lie on my left side, only, so as not to have the baby squashing some major arteries or some such thing. I had to drink seemingly aquarium-sized volumes of water and catch the urine in a nifty little container that hung from the commode, so the amount of excess protein in my urine could be tracked. Fun, fun, fun! Still, the stubborn high blood pressure refused to abate.

I remember the doctor coming in on Day Four and sitting on my bed. He then told me that they had tried everything to get the blood pressure down, but I was getting sicker instead of better. Since I was so very close to my due date, anyway, they were going to deliver the baby. The next day. And that’s how #1 son managed to, in a most weird and dramatic way, conform to his due date, which was a non-conforming of what I trained myself to expect. Very quickly, I learned to expect the unexpected.

When traveling on the road, we would pass a car and he would call out, “Truck!”, and vise-versa. I was thinking that he had it all mixed up…until I glanced back at him, sitting in his car seat, a goofy grin on his face – just looking for a reaction. The trend would continue in preschool. When told, along with the rest of the class, that they were all going to march in a circle to the right and pretend to be bunnies, firstborn would insist on marching to the left and hissing like a snake. With a defiant grin on his little, otherwise cherubic face.

Nearly 31 years later, I’m hugging my son and meeting my daughter-in-law, in person, for the first time. The childhood memories had been running through my head for several hours, by that time. Firstborn is about 7 inches taller than me now, and I’m not short at 5’8″. He has just the shadow of a couple days’ old beard. He definitely is the picture of a young middle-aged man; that age that is no longer youth but nowhere near old. My eyes see this and my brain correctly interprets this fact. My heart, though, remembers that devilish grin and twinkling eyes of a preschooler. He looks the same; yet somehow different.

For the first time, I see my son behaving like a man who is relaxed and confident, no longer confident in an uptight kind of way. He smiles a lot – with the same devilish twinkle. He readily agrees to play games and engage in frivolity that he never, ever, would have done several years ago.

My firstborn son has found his soul mate. She is beautiful in personality and lovely in appearance. They look after one another in small ways – she comforts him with her loving presence – he gently explains to her when her grasp of English colloquialisms is not quite sufficient. Where he used to seem stiff and serious, he now seems just plain old normal; a little looser and without the heart attack-like seriousness.

There are so many hundreds of jokes about mothers-in-law and their jealousy over their sons when the daughters-in-law come along. Yet, I feel neither envy nor loss of anything. I’m simply happy that my son loves and is loved.

I hand over the responsibility of figuring out the twinkling eyes and devilish grins – with relish and a sigh of contentment!

I wish the same kind of blessing for younger brother – someday – that my prayers for my boys’ marital success will be fully realized. Thank you, Lord, for knowing the prayers of a mother and her son can be answered to the benefit of both.


~ by saginawrobin on February 11, 2014.

2 Responses to “When the Firstborn Finds a Wife”

  1. Those firstborn boys have a way of letting Mom know who’s in charge from the very beginning. 😉

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