With Benjamin's birthday last week, and our wedding anniversary approaching, I have been doing a lot of thinking about everything we have been through in the past few years...
I remember the first time I ever talked to Josh. It was at Ben & Heidi's wedding reception. We talked about my baptism and he challenged me to share my testimony in church the next day. I told him he couldn't make me do it...but then I did. I stood up and talked about my baptism and the many aspects of my life that have been affected by my decision to join the LDS church. My heart was so full of joy and peace, I didn't think I could ever be happier. My testimony has grown and developed so much since then. It's weird how it works, but somehow there is always room inside your heart for the exact amount love and testimony you need.
I remember the day we were married; how peaceful and beautiful the Temple was. I felt the love of my Heavenly Father and the Savior as well as my dearest family and friends. It was another one of those times where I thought my heart was as full as it could ever be. I remember the beautiful words and testimony of the man who sealed us together for time and eternity. This was a time where I experienced an interesting emotion; it was like peace & joy combined. It would probably sound strange to anyone who has never experienced it because when you think of joy you picture excitement perhaps dancing or something. On the other hand, when you think of peace, you might think of quiet or reverence. To have both at the same time should be very confusing however, it is very much the opposite.
I remember the day we found out we were going to have a baby. This again was a very strange combination of emotions; excitement, joy, fright, terror, and peace. I remember the first dr visit when we got to see that tiny little dot on the ultrasound. I remember a few weeks later when we started having complications and Josh gave me a blessing. I remember the peace that I received and the assurance that our little guy was going to be fine.
I remember the day we found out that there was something wrong with his heart (why it had to be on Josh's birthday I will never know). I remember how I thought it was all my fault. I wondered why so many people can have perfectly healthy babies and mine had to be sick. Josh and Grandpa gave me a blessing and I realized that Heavenly Father had chosen to send this little child to me. If there was someone else who could be a better parent to him, God would have sent him to them. God knew that we needed Benjamin just as much as,if not more than, Benjamin needed us. I wouldn't want to have a perfectly healthy baby if it meant that i couldn't have my Benjamin; I wouldn't trade him for anything.
I remember the day he was born. I remember being so embarrassed to have to leave the Temple in the middle of the session. The ambulance ride to SL was fun; I had never been in an ambulance before. I don't think I completely realized that I was a parent until several hours later when the dr held him up to show me. She said, "Here he is," and suddenly I couldn't breath; the room started spinning and I heard alarms going off like crazy...the next thing I remember, we were in a different room and I had an oxygen mask on. The nurse explained that I had had a panic attack and they had given me some Valium.
I remember the first time I got to see Benjamin (I didn't get to hold him until later). He was laying there with his thick dark hair combed down clothed in a diaper that was as big as he was. We told the nurse that his name was going to be Benjamin Joshua and she said it was a perfect name for him, though he was "defiantly going to have to grow into it."
I remember when Benjamin had is heart surgery. I was so scared, yet I felt peace and knew he would be ok. Another weird emotion. We spent the night before his surgery at Grandma and Grandpa McGee's house. I had a hard time sleeping and spent most of the night sitting on the floor beside Benjamin's bassinet watching him sleep. In the morning when he woke up, he was so happy and smiling that I took this picture.
It was so hard to take my happy healthy baby and hand him to someone I knew was going to hurt him. This moment taught me a lot about how our Heavenly Father must have felt when he sent his son here know that the world was just going to hurt him. Sometimes I wonder if God feels that way about us when he has to watch us go through trials and tribulations. He know, just as I did, that it is the best thing for us. And just as it was hard for me to see my baby hurting, I think it is difficult for God to watch us hurt.I remember when Josh got his new job and how excited we were(Besty and I did a victory lap around the house). We were a little nervous about doing something different and a little sad to say goodbye to McDonalds. And then of course buying our first home. Josh says he regrets having done that and wishes we had waited but I don't. I love it here, it is exactly the right size for us and I think that we are learning a lot by working together to fix it up.
I remember Benjamin's 1st Birthday. I worked so hard to plan out every detail; I wanted it to be perfect. Many of our friends and family were here they were all, at least it seemed to me, just as excited about Benjamin's birthday as I was. I realized then how many people we have in our lives who care about and love us. Once again, my heart was filled even more with love, peace, and joy.
I remember this past Mothers day. While I was getting ready for church, Benjamin came running into my room and shouted, "HAPPY." Then he turned around and left. A few moments later, he returned shouting, "MOMMY" and promptly ran away again. Soon he returned a third time to say "DAY!" Although I know that Josh was standing out in the hall telling him what to say, I still thought it was cute and really liked it. I love them both so much and I am truly grateful to be Benjamin's Mommy.
And Finally, I remember Benjamin's 2nd birthday. In the morning when he woke up, I asked, "Who's birthday is it today?" Benjamin responded by pointing to himself and saying "Benjamin" (which actually sounded more like mehn'min) and began clapping and shouting "YEA!" Again I find myself having weird, mixed emotions. I am so excited to watch him grow, change, and develop. However, at the same time I am sad to see that he is no longer my little guy. He is a great big boy with places to go, things to do, and people to see.