Children grow up, but some things never change

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Sunday my son, Matthew turned 15. I find myself looking for him on the basketball court or in a crowd and am always amazed when after I am sure he is not there, his grin catches my eye. How can that possibly be him and when did he grow that big?

I should have known from the beginning that loving Matthew would always be a basket of mixed emotions.

Overdue by two weeks, I was sent to the hospital to be induced.

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Very early that morning with David by my side, things got off to a rocky start.

There were several little things that should have warned me but the last straw was when there was a problem with my epidural.

It seems that when all the voices became fuzzy and far away coincided with my blood pressure falling to next to nothing.

I woke up to David none too gently slapping my face and a lot of frantic activity involving more IVs and my head on a definite downward slope, not the easiest position to be in when you are big-mama pregnant.

A few minutes later in a more prone position my doctor explained to me that because of blood pressure problems I wasn’t going to be able to get anything else, period, nothing.

At that point I sat up on the side of the bed, and began getting up, explaining to a horrified nurse, distraught husband and amused doctor that, well then, forget it, I was going home.

After a little discussion, which involved David threatening to have me restrained and some whopper labor pains I opted to stay.

And this was all before 7 a.m. Matthew graced us with his presence around 7:30 that night and only then after my doctor threatened me with a c-section within an hour if I didn’t produce a baby.

Apparently very happy with himself he began feeding about 30 minutes after he was born and has barely taken time to breath in between bites since.

Holly loved her new baby brother and wanted to play with him like a doll baby all the time.

I had preached and preached to her about the fact that she was not allowed to pick him up. She could hold him but only after we placed him in her lap.

One afternoon I left Matthew in his infant seat, which was on the floor, asleep to go answer the phone.

I almost had a stroke when I returned in just a few minutes to find him gone.

I ran down the hall, which I might add was all wood flooring, to Holly’s room. There he was propped up on stuffed animals while his big sister showed him all of her treasures.

As I picked him and checked him over I fussed at her for picking him up and tried to tell her all the awful things that could have happened if she had dropped him.

Imagine my surprise when she put her hands on her hips and told me &uot;I did not pick him up, I rolled him.&uot; From that day forward anytime Matthew would do something that required David or I to question his judgment, we would laugh and say it had to have something to do with being rolled down the hall.

Why is it that we parents rarely notice how quickly our children are growing up until it is way to late?

For while I am very proud of my son, who is growing into a fine young man there is still a part of me that longs for my chubby little white-haired boy to climb up into my lap and take my both of my cheeks in his little hands, stare into my eyes and very solemnly ask me, &uot;What is for my dinner?&uot; Oh well, I guess that has only changed a little after all.

Christina Hall

writes a weekly column for The Democrat. E-mail her at