Thursday, June 13, 2013

Celebrating Jacob

On the 7th day of November 1995 my son Jacob was born. It is true when it is said that we have no idea as to how a child can change our lives. Four years previous to Jake’s birth, my daughter Rebecca was born on October 3 1991. I felt like the most fortunate person in the world, for I had these two little children. It was easy to see early on just how different these two people were going to be.

Just prior to starting Junior Kindergarten, Becca was diagnosed with Selective Mutism, which is a child anxiety disorder in which children do not speak in settings where speech is expected (i.e. school). Yet at home, she was a chatty Cathy who loved to make her baby brother laugh.

Fast forward to Jake’s entrance to Junior Kindergarten. If anyone dared say anything about his Becca not talking he would puff out his chest and tell them to stop, “she doesn’t want to talk now”.

As the years passed, Jake and Becca remained close, yet had the typical fights that siblings do.

My marriage had ended and with that, so did the family of four which we had been. Becca lived with me, while Jake chose to live with his Dad. A new life began for all of us. Thrown into the role of a single parent, I struggled to stay afloat. Slowly I began to find my footing while my daughter had her own issues she was dealing with, among them finishing Grade 12. Thankfully, writing had always been a release for Becca and myself while academics were more Jake’s thing.

I was a teacher’s assistant, but wanted a better life for myself (career advancement and a better salary) and to be a role model for my children. I began studying to earn my E.C.E. diploma (while continuing to work full time). I often wondered how Jake did it. Afterall he was the principal’s son, as well as a student, a volunteer, a friend and an athlete. I imagined that it was a fine line that Jake walked.

Jake immersed himself in both athletics and academics, while balancing extracurricular activities. He has grown into a young man who is thoughtful, serious, kind and compassionate. This was never more apparent than when he shared with me, the speech that his coach had given in his honour.
“I first met Jake on the football field in his grade nine year. He was a wide-eyed, enthusiastic and slightly overwhelmed young man; and rightfully so as a grade nine student on a varsity football team.

"Over the next four years I had the pleasure of watching Jake grow as a man, both on and off the football field. He has been instrumental in organizing Movember campaigns, barbecues, intramural leagues and in many other ways. He is a benchmark for those who follow.”
I spoke to Jake the other night and through tears, I apologized to him for having to grow up without a mother, just as I did.  He apologized for not spending enough time with me.

It seems we have come full circle. The little boy who left me has indeed grown into a wonderful caring, intelligent and compassionate young man with whom I can have lively discussions (and sometimes, differing points of view).

Shortly before we said good night, Jake shared with me a quote from his favourite poem,
"Keep coming back, and though the world may romp across your spine,
Let every game's end find you still upon the battling line;
For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes - not that you won or lost - but how you played the Game.”
Jake, I love you.

Go out into the world and make your mark. I have no doubt you will be a success.

Love, Mom

No comments:

Post a Comment

Raise your hand!