Thursday, March 6, 2014

21 years 21 years...

On the night Jared was born, the book, the pregnancy bible said, "be sure to pack a snack for your birth partner. And so, when labor began in the wee hours of March 7th 1993, I packed carrots and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread for Jared's father to eat during labor and delivery. I packed peanut butter when I should have packed hope....and perserverance...and unconditional love....and humor; I would need a lot of that...and flexibility; I would need even more of that. And while I'm at it, that book would have been more aptly titled: "What to Expect When What You Expect Does NOT Happen". That would have been a good book I think. That might have prepared me for the next 21 years, years that began with a hearty cry from my infant, whom doctors would soon tell me was different than other babies. An infant that might not talk right away, walk right away, perhaps might not be the most independent of guys.... This was a time when the first books I pulled from the library used words like Mongoloid and Mental Retardation. And from these, I was supposed to learn? And so, the next 21 years commenced...
 If I had to classify these years, it might look something like this:
 Momentous-Jared surviving two heart surgeries, meningitis, and pneumonia;  Possible-Jared dancing the night away at the Gigi's Playhouse Gala the other night. Momentous-Jared talking clearly and being able to tell me what he needs or wants; Possible-Jared giving a speech about shredding the R-word to an entire high school student body in a couple of weeks-twice! Momentous-Jared learning to walk and dress himself; Possible- a paying job at the pizza shop 3 days a week and courses at the local college... Momentous-Jared telling me, his mom,  that he loves me; Possible-Jared telling his girlfriend that he loves her and wants to go to the prom with her and maybe marry her some day... Momentous- Jared hearing me sing to him after the doctor said he may lose all of his hearing when he was sick; Possible-Jared recording his first single where he sings of the love of that girl... Momentous-Jared learning that letters make words and words make sentences; Possible-Jared being the author of his own blog, one he created for parents of kids like him, he tells me. Momentous-Jared holding his fork and feeding himself for the first time; Possible- Jared walking to the car tonight after work with a bottle of hard cider from a co-worker that he has been charged to enjoy tomorrow, on his 21st birthday.
So, you see, when what you are expecting to happen doesn't really happen as you thought it would, you still have those momentous occasions, but more importantly, you find out that so much is possible, that so much more than you ever thought, is possible.
Happy Birthday to my son, my boy who just came up behind me and gave me a most precious gift, a kiss on my cheek, a cheek that is 21 years older and that has been softened by tears, by laughter, and by time...


  1. Happy Birthday Jared! Happy Mothers Day to you Randi. You are an inspiration whose 21 year experience, that you so openly share, makes all of us better for knowing you.

  2. Oh Randi, what you have done with these precious 21 years! You two make the best pair and I am so so so glad he choose you to be his mom! The world is absolutely a better place with Jared in it! Happy 21 years to both of you and has you know I want a picture of the birthday man enjoying his hard cider! My face hurts I smiled so big reading this, way to kick the damn ceiling right out! xoxo

  3. It's been quite a while since we all saw each other, but somehow I knew the combination of Wait love and the delightful little boy Jared was when I first met him would take him to the moon and back, if that's what he wanted. Happy Birthday to you all!

    1. Thank you thank you! I have been thinking of you and your family so often! We are lucky to have shared time together! Please take care!

  4. So lovely - so much change and growth - your spirits were meant to find each other as mother and son - you have done much for each other and come out the better for it. :)

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  6. As I look back over the past 21 years, I'm not only proud of the fine young man Jared has become, but also of the beautiful, wise and inspiring woman his mother has proven to be. Love you, Sissy.