Twenty two years ago, I was a young college graduate, not really “just” starting my life, but moving forward onto bigger and better things. I was about to deliver my first child, a child for which I had prayed and longed for for as long as I could remember. I was excited and happy and ready. I had waited for what seemed my whole life for this event, and I knew that it would be of epic proportions. Little did I know what life and God had in store for me!
My Samuel came into this world, wide-eyed and ready to go. He was always one to do things early – talking at 6 months, walking at 9 months, speaking in full sentences by the time he was one. I knew … I knew that he was smarter than the average child, and I’m not saying that just because I am his mother and I’m biased, I write the truth. He could write his full name by the time he started preschool. He took things apart, and could put them back together. He could ride a two wheeled bike with no training wheels by the time he was three. Always running, always going, always talking, asking questions, but always ready to settle down and be held and read to him. We read a lot together. By the time he was six, he was reading series of books, Goosebumps, to name one. Barnes and Noble was our second home, and still is to this day.
He had a wild imagination. Always making things up, sometimes in life also, getting himself into some mischief. But he was always a good boy. ALWAYS. Model student, straight A’s, in the band, swim team, water polo. I never had to bug him to do his homework, it was always done.
From the time he was a small child, it was always drilled into his head that he would go to college – no ifs, ands or buts … He would go, but he never questioned it, he just knew that he would go, and he wanted to go. He graduated from high school with an outrageous GPA or 4.85, at the top 5% of his class, and was accepted to several colleges, but chose Fresno State because his friends had also chosen this school.
His college years were, in his words, fairly easy. Much easier then the rigorous International Baccalaurate (IB) that he was enrolled in during high school. He chose Journalism as his major, no surprise here as he is an excellent writer, and Japanese as his minor. He continued to get good grades, got the internships that he needed in his chosen field of study. He worked his junior and senior year for the Medonta Paper, then the Fresno Bee, and the college paper.
I’m not sure how it happened though. All I know is that I received a text message from him one day asking to borrow some money to purchase his cap and gown?!? Oh my God! I’m not sure when exactly he was set to graduate from college. COLLEGE? Really? When did this happen? This was for real! I mean, I knew that it would happen someday, just not so quickly. I had to think quickly. I had to get into the right mindset, you know, the mindset of a mother who is about to have a child graduate from COLLEGE!!! What the heck?
His graduation from high school didn’t bother me as I knew that he would still be dependent on me, that we would still be connected, still be my “baby.” This was BIG though … COLLEGE! Wow! This would be the event that would cut the apron string that connects us, although I know that he will always need me, this would be the event that would make him into a “man.” And just this thought, brought tears to my eyes that rarely sheds them. This event that would be a happy, exciting event, would tug at my heartstrings, and cause me to wonder if I did a good enough job with him, for him?
At the Mass Media and Communications Commencement on Friday, he was awarded the Outstanding Print Journalism Student Award. His professor, Dr. Rice, gave an excellent speech about how he has grown as a student of journalism. It was an amazing feeling to know that someone has watched over him during his time at Fresno State, and watched him grow as a person into his chosen field of study. I felt very proud of my child, who has worked so hard to achieve all that he has.
Where did the time go though? It seems like just yesterday, I was pregnant with this rambunctious little boy. It seems like just yesterday I had delivered him into the world and held onto him for as long as I could, rocking him to sleep every night. It seems like just yesterday that I read him countless numbers of books before bedtime. It seems like just yesterday that we shared our love for the Harry Potter series and would have to buy two of each book that came out because we both wanted to read them at the same time and were not willing to wait! I grew up with him. He was my buddy, my first born, the one person I have loved the LONGEST in my life. And here he was … graduating from COLLEGE trying to make his Mama cry!!!
Unbelieveable! But … I kid …
I am extremely, EXTREMELY proud of my child. He has brought me nothing except joy in my life, and it has been such an honor to be his mother. It has been a pleasure to watch him grow from a small infant into a smart, confident, handsome young man.
Writing this blog post reminds me so much of the book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch that we read together over and over and over for years. The lines, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” ring true and close to my heart as I remember holding my baby close reading that book to him.
As he moves forward and starts into the next phase of his life, it is somewhat bittersweet to know that he’s gotten older when I only wished for him to stay a small child so I could continue to hold his hand. I wish him much happiness. I pray for his continued success. I look forward to see what the future holds for my baby boy. God please continue to shine down on my son. Watch over him, protect him, keep him safe. May he always know that I love him dearly and would do anything for him. May he always know that I will always provide him with a soft place to fall. May he always know that I did the best that I knew how for him with what I had.
Thank you, God, for blessing me with this incredible child. Thank you for trusting me enough to be his mother. And to my Samuel … I will always, ALWAYS love you, son. Always.