We'll never forget how that morning started. I woke at 4:30 am and I knew something wasn't quite right. He wasn't due for another week, but I had been feeling some pressure down low over the weekend, so I really wasn't surprised when the pain started. Justin wanted me to call the doctor, but I didn't want to wake him so early. With what was probably a bit of an eye roll, he pulled up a picture of this doctor's home, and said it to me straight, "This is why he gets paid the big bucks."
It ended up being a different doctor who delivered Carson that day. I was seven cm dilated by the time we got to the hospital. I had made our bed, packed my bags, waved goodbye to our little two-year old Jonah who was busy cooking in his kitchen before we left. I walked into the birthing room and told the nurse I was not getting in the bed, that I wanted to use the strategies I had learned in my birthing class. I tried to resist the IV, but they insisted. And just three hours after I was admitted to the hospital, we had a beautiful baby boy.
My pregnancy with Carson was completely normal. His birth was fast and I won't say painless, but the pain was the shortest with him of all my births. But though his introduction to the world was pretty easy, that's where the smooth sailing stopped.
Carson has dealt with anxiety his whole life. We have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what makes him tick and helping him to feel comfortable in his own skin. And he has rallied each time his anxiety has reared its ugly head. He is a straight A student, a talented artist, and a strong athlete. He is creative, smart, and kind. And this year, we've even been able to call him BRAVE.
The other day, in my frustration about Camden refusing to play soccer, I asked him simply, "Why won't you go out there like the other kids and play???" And to that Camden answered, "I am not brave like them. Carson is brave, I'm not."
Oh, buddy, if you only knew.
If you only knew what it takes for Carson to be brave. How far he's come. The daily reminder to himself that he is strong, and he is courageous.
In a lot of ways, I think Carson is one of the bravest people I know. Because I am aware of the struggles he's had, and what he has overcome. I am so proud of him.
Justin called me last weekend (I was at Jonah's baseball game) to let me know Camden wasn't participating in the soccer game and was having a meltdown on the field. He didn't want to play against the other team because they were "bigger and stronger and faster" than him.
And this is what I said, "Do you remember that little boy who refused to play soccer and basketball, who we had to bribe just to get to the end of the season? The boy who used to wash his hands until they were raw for fear of germs? The one whose feet we didn't see for about a year because he insisted on wearing socks all the time? Our #65 runs out on the football field every Saturday and goes up against people twice his size. Even though he's nervous about the conditioning on the way there, he sweats his heart out on the practice field three nights a week. And we'll get there with Camden, too. We just have to keep showing up."
Carson is one of the most observant people I know, acutely aware of what's going on around him. This is both a blessing and a curse, as he's also extremely aware of what's going on in his body. He'll be the first to notice I'm wearing a new dress, but also the first to notice his uncomfortable feelings.
In recent years, I have actually come to admire that quality about Carson. The way he responds to discomfort by voicing what is bothering him, and by making adjustments. I don't think his friends will ever have to worry about him hiding his feelings from them, because he wears his feelings right on his sleeve. You know where you stand with him. And that is comforting. And a bit rare in this social media obsessed world we live in. In a world where our first instinct is to complain about something publicly, it is rare to find someone as transparent as Carson, who will tell you to your face.
So, here is my challenge to you for this week. Tell it like it is. When something is bothering you, say it. Don't post it on FB or complain about it on IG. I have been guilty of this in the very recent past. And that is part of what is fanning this flame. It didn't make me feel any better to complain on FB. And it didn't change anything either.
Wear your heart on your sleeve, love your friends and family well,
Go to the one you love, not to the world to tell.
Sit with your feelings, don't run away,
Listen with your heart, you'll be happy you stayed.
Happy birthday to my big 12 year old boy!!! And happy Monday to you!