Happy birthday, dear son...

Even the Von Trapps singing in the background and THE SOUND OF MUSIC playing on the screen of our television, couldn't distract me from the ever intensifying labor pains.  They took my breath away, but soon a little 6-pound, 3 1/2-ounce baby boy would more than take my breath away and forever capture my heart.  Yes, my dear son, it was a Sunday evening, and I knew I would likely be holding you in my arms by the next day.  I can still hear Maria, alongside the Von Trapps, singing in the background about some of her favorite things.  And so it is that December 3, 1979 ranks high atop my list of "my favorite things"!  

How can it be that 37 years have passed in what seems like a blink of an eye?  While I remember the lengthy labor that brought you into this world, I most remember the joy that flooded my heart when you were placed in my arms.  And so, I celebrate you, dearest Kaleb Kent Rutherford.  And as I do, I remember the poem I wrote for you years ago.  I framed it and gave it to you on Christmas as you prepared to marry the love of your life.  And so, humor your ol' momma as I am feeling nostalgic tonight...

 When you were born, it was a cold & wintry day-- 

 You were so small I could hold you in one arm; 

 So helpless & tiny, I marveled, for you needed me in every way! 

 I looked into your eyes-as-big-saucers & promised to keep you from all harm... 

 It was my joy to rock & cradle you, my precious one; 

 To feed & clothe you was my delight! 

 I showered your rounded cheeks with kisses & whispered, "I love you, my son!" 

Being your mom was my fulfillment as I peered into your crib day & night...   

I'll never   let you go," I thought---

 As I ever gazed at my precious treasure; 

 But God knew I had an important lesson to be taught --

 For you were a demonstration of God's love in abundant measure... 

 Yes, you were a deposit I was entrusted to keep for Him, 

 To nurture & love for something bigger than me or you; 

 For you were destined to shine in His Kingdom   as a precious gem--

 And little by little you'd leave my side for other things to see & do. 

 I remember the day you first crawled away-- 

 For something new, shiny, &    bright called your name; 

 It wasn't quite time for you to leave, so you crawled back for awhile to stay-- 

 But you had tasted freedom & nothing would ever be the same... 

 And then, from arms that held you close, you walked & ran with playful glee-- 

 While everyone applauded your accomplishment of that first step, 

 I envisioned you walking down a path yet to be-- 

 Letting go a little more that day, I knew it was something I had to accept... 

 Oh, but I remember the day you first walked into kindergarten--so timid, but able; 

 With tears streaming down my cheeks, I left you there-- 

  You had passed the toddler years to wear a new label.

 Yes, loosening my grasp proved difficult to bear... 

 The years would come & go & time could not be rewound; 

 There were many more stages of growth away from my side-- 

 From your first job & first car, you were graduation bound!

 But late at night I remembered the baby I had held & I softly cried... 

 Today, you walked away from me & stood amid flowers & candlelight; 

 And there you pledged your life to the woman you love-- 

 Yes, I thought of the baby I had grasped so tightly    & rocked into night,

 And remembered that you were a gift from above... 

  "I'll never let you go," I once had thought,

 But God knew I had an important lesson to be taught-- 

 For you have been a demonstration of His love in abundant measure, 

 A deposit I was entrusted to keep for Him ,

  "To love & nurture for something bigger than me or you," has become my confident reply-- 

 Yes, you are destined to shine in His Kingdom as a precious gem; 

So, as I leave you in His able hands, please know I'll love you till the day I die! 

Happy birthday, Kaleb.  Thirty-seven years have passed.  You and your lovely wife--my bonus daughter--now have four sons of your own!  I celebrate the gift of motherhood, of Gi-Gi-hood...Oh, yes, I celebrate YOU, dear son!