This day of Thomas' 18th birthday was much like the day he was born -
one of the coldest days of the year yet sunny and beautiful.
This day is bittersweet for me - as I wrote to Thomas in his card. Bitter because I know our time
together will be less in the years to come and I will miss him - we all will miss him. He is the spark of our family - so often eager to play with his younger brothers and sisters with genuine enthusiasm and joy, helping out with the household chores whenever asked, sharing his views on the Bible which sometimes found he and I nearly debating in recent years, and simply enjoying his company throughout the days. I will miss the early mornings when he is usually the first to come down and join Mike and I at breakfast time.
It is a sweet time because I am so happy for the gift that he has given me - the privilege to be his mother. From the very beginning he taught me trust and patience as I wondered how I would ever get through each day during his first few years. (No, he was not an easy baby nor young child - but I am sure too that I had much to learn about being a mother.)
He has taught me much about faith as he has grown in his own beliefs.
Thomas has also let us share in his accomplishments of following his passions - theatre and music. From such a young age he would put on plays and puppet shows and then began acting with small theatre companies at the age of 7 and has not stopped. Now in the middle of the college admissions process, he is another step along the path of using the gifts God has given him.
It makes me happy to watch the tender Thomas, the one who is sad when he thinks about the possibility of leaving his baby sister when he goes off to college and missing so many of her "firsts". The responsible Thomas that wakes himself in plenty of time to get off to work by 7:00 am and makes to-do lists each day.
It is ever so sweet to think of the man he has become and the new life that he will shortly embark on as he makes his own way apart from his family, while remaining still so very much a part of us.
Here is a poem Thomas wrote last night and shared with me this morning ~
Prospects Of Hope - Jan. 15th 2012 - 18th Birthday
A new dawn breaks
O'er past horizons,
A dream of old reborn to the world.
A journey and a destination,
The beginning now behind me.
I look to the North:
I see the True Soul,
Speaking, serving, ruling.
To me, for me, over me.
I look to the South:
I see the Prism of Light,
Cascading in a multiplicitous form.
Shadowed, but soon revealed through love.
I look to the West:
I see the Stage
A lit with ravens carrying clovers and thorns,
But they all scatter as I draw near.
I look to the East:
I see the Black Dawn rising
Over pyramids of song,
And I hear the dragon stirring.
Beneath me lay crushed bones,
And above me shine stars without fault.
What an epic I shall write.