I distinctly remember the first time William’s blue eyes captured me as he gazed up out of the bassinette. It was in a dream…about a year before he was conceived. It was so real I woke Bill, in a panic, asking him “Where is the baby?” He opened his eyes long enough to say, “In the crib.” And it was true. My baby boy Aaron was in the crib in the next room only 8 months old. I got up in that foggy land between my dream world (which, at times, is more real than this one) and reality. I hunted for the bassinette, until I realized that it was indeed a dream and that my two children were sleeping soundly. There was not a third.
The next day, on my walk, I was discussing this vivid dream with God, expressing to him that an 8 month old and a 2 year old were plenty for me to handle. I politely declined another and was dismissing the dream all together when he said, “You will have a baby in September.” All politeness went out the window when I replied, “Not if I can help it I won’t!” And so I took all measures I knew to prevent a pregnancy that would result in a September birth. I succeeded in my efforts. I had outsmarted God. (And I wonder why he won’t show me his plans ahead of time…geez is it any wonder with my stubborn streak.) Life with two toddlers moved along as smoothly as is possible with two toddlers until Bill was suddenly unemployed. I was a stay at home mom, making the financial stresses considerable, so much so that I was nauseous from the strain. It was from the stress right? You guessed it…the nausea had nothing to do with the financial circumstances… I was pregnant. It was November and my due date was June…not September. I discussed this with God and he said, “You did have a baby in September. I count from when he was conceived. I gave you the dream so you would know this baby is my idea. Do not fear. I know the plan. I will not forsake you.” In June, the baby from the dream was birthed and his eyes looked up from the bassinette at me and captured my heart again.
By the time he was crawling, he made his way to the Tupperware cabinet and withdrew a drum set of plastic. He arranged them the same way each time and was mightily upset if anyone tried to put them in a different order. He hit them with wooden spoons and was not happy if I had to use any of his drums for cooking. He kept time to whatever music I was playing as I cooked. When he was 2 we gave him his first set of toy drums, which he proceeded to beat the tops off of in a few months time. At Christmas of the same year, he inherited Bill’s Ludwig set from when he was in middle school. In order to reach the drums, William had to sit on a box and a phone book. When he was 5 he wanted to be a composer, but felt he had to wait until he was old enough to have gray hair and a long pony tail. By the time he was 7 he could play the dulcimer, some guitar, and some piano…all by ear.
He is 18 now, and still playing. I have no idea if he will stick with sound design, or switch to graphic design, preforming arts, or historic preservation. (He has a wide variety of creative interests.) He will be leaving for college this week. My heart will be broken once again, as I watch him grow smaller in the rear view mirror. I think taking multiple kids to college is like having your heart cut out with a spoon. Slow and painful. I know the timing is right. I know this is what I raised them for. It is William’s turn to spread his wings, and find the destiny God has placed within him, even if my mother’s heart is wrestling. It is as if Henry David Thoreau knew my son when he wrote “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” William is very much an individual that does things in his own way. He is going to Savannah College of Art and Design for this very reason.
I have been the intermediary between his way and the world’s conformist way since he was young. School for him has been like putting a square peg in a round hole. It has been a battle every step of the way, but one that has developed somewhat of a bond between us. I will have to let that go now. I am nervous about it. A new bond will form. I have learned that from my previous two spoonfuls of heartache. It is a new thing. New things are good, but to grab ahold you have to let go of the old. If I could just get my fingers open, things would go so much more smoothly…so hard to do after 18 years of pouring myself out. But I know that in my weakness, God is strong, and in my strength of grip…he is stronger still. He will pry my hands open if needed, so I choose to release them willingly, albeit hesitantly. I do so with joy at the young man my son has become. I do so with pride in him, and in who he is. I do so with anticipation of watching him find his way, knowing that the best is yet to come. I do so with bittersweet tears as I look once more into those blue eyes. God I love that boy.

One thought on “William

  1. Thoreau for Mom: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life
    which he has imagined, he will be a success unexpected in
    common hours”.

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