Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Papi!

Twenty five years ago today our oldest son was born. We had only recently moved to Springfield, Virginia, unpacked into a rental house, found new OB doctor and was settling into the required classes we were to take in preparation for our tour in Venezuela.

Mike fretted over the traffic in Washington DC, fearful we'd be trying to get around the Beltway with me in heavy labor. Matthew chose his arrival carefully. He waited for Grandma Denie to arrive from Wisconsin. He allowed us a shopping day at the Mall. Then in the middle of the night my water broke. Knowing this was going to be awhile I folded some laundry, emptied the dishwasher and left a note for my mom and Erin who were going to end up entertaining our cousins driving down from Maryland for a visit that day.

Matthew was a big boy. He gave us a scare when his shoulders wouldn't pass. After sufficient attention to problems, we delivered a 10lb. 6-1/2 oz 22" baby boy. He was taken to the NICU because he was at risk. In comparison to the preemies and much smaller newborns, he looked nearly full grown. He also had the appearance of a prized boxer. His face was black and blue. His little ears were folded down and scrunched against the side of his head where his shoulders pushed. He ended up staying a couple of extra days in the hospital because he was so jaundice. Poor Denie. Matt was released the day she was scheduled to fly home and back to work. She spent an entire afternoon sitting and holding her first grandson before she had to leave.

Matthew has always been our creative child. The artist. The builder. The helper. Legos. Yard work. Building projects. When little he was my cuddler. Mornings spent with him tucked in against my side while we woke up.

It seemed if something would go wrong, it involved Matthew too. He went over the front of his bicycle handlebars when we lived in Puerto Rico, chipped his front teeth and shredded his mouth. He wore road rash later in Wisconsin from a wipeout in the driveway. He fell from a second story roof working just a couple years ago.

Matthew has made some wonderful drawings. We framed many and kept them for years before "allowing" him his art back. I envy his talent.

Matthew is sensitive to other people. He is caring and loving. I'm so proud when I see him with his son Taten. It constantly makes me smile. He has always been so gentle and patient with him. I see how he takes such good care of his wife Britnee and Taten. I'm so certain it isn't from the example I led as I know I'm not that good of a person.

I love you Matthew. You are a wonderful man. I'm very proud of the person you have become. You are truly a blessing to our family!

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