Today was the first day at the Upper School at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. I didn’t make it last year, but Maureen and I were both there today, listening to the bagpipes play as the 9th to 12th graders processed around the campus with their advisories and then entered the Upper School chapel to ask God to bless them and their campus for the year ahead.
Today’s event made Maureen and I realize that what was once our story is now his story. Taylor is the oldest of our three children. He will be 16 on January 29. 2015. As the photo at the bottom makes clear, he is almost as tall as his mom. This means that he passed me in height a year ago. However, he has not just grown in height, but he has grown as a human being. We are really proud of him, because he is choosing each chapter in his own story wisely.
A little over 16 years ago, Taylor was still our story. He had not been born yet. We were eagerly awaiting his arrival. I still remember Maureen coming into our bedroom, after using one of those pregnancy tests, and saying to me, still not quite awake, “Good morning, Dad.” Trust me, after hearing those words, I was awake, very awake.
As we fight a bunch of cancer cells in Maureen’s body that have gone nutso, it is important to think back to the birth of our children, because in those moments, our cells were doing what they were meant to do. They came together in the ultimate act of love and created life. They created lives that would simply not be possible but for those two particular cells coming together at that exact moment. Those lives and the resulting love that now exists have come full circle, shining their light back into Maureen and my life as we prepare for the battle ahead.
At the birth of each of our children, I have written a poem on the day of their birth, as we sat in the delivery room. Well, I sat; Maureen, then, like now, did the hard work, always with a smile. We’ve never known the sex of our children before their birth, so we’ve always had two names, just in case. Taylor would have been Lauren, if things hadn’t turned out as they did. So when you see LT in the following poem, you’ll understand what it means. This is his poem from his very first, first day.
Our Child to Hold
A new life is dawning, a soul is awakening; A product of love, nine months in the making.
A walk up the aisle, our vows at the alter; God watches over us to be sure we don’t falter.
A moment of closeness, husband and wife; God reaches out with His gift of life.
Baby LT, alive in the womb; Kicking and moving to make some more room.
This is the moment, a small twinge of fear; Our hearts are pounding as baby draws near.
All of the waiting, all of the scheming; This is the moment of which we’ve been dreaming.
Our hands are clasped, one final push; Our world is changed with one giant woosh.
Inset with diamonds, a band of gold; Today we’ve been given a child to hold.