Archive for March 7th, 2011

My little Jonah Russell turned nine years old today.  Here he is as a baby:

Here he is at two; happy boy:

And at three, on his birthday:

I can’t believe how fast he has grown; I can’t wrap my mind around everything that has changed in his lifetime.

Last night I asked M to pray for me; he’s more traditionally religious than I, so I figured he might be a little closer to “The Source,” if you will.   I asked him to please pray that Jonah is good at school today, for his birthday, his little party with cupcakes and goodie bags Andy sent in with his backpack.

Nine years ago this minute I was in a hospital bed after having requested pillow after pillow because I couldn’t get comfortable and I wanted to create a soft nest for my new sweet little peanut and me.

I remember I wouldn’t let them take him away from me, not to the nursery, not anywhere.  When they told me they had to bring him to the nursery to weigh him or whatever, I walked along next to the little rolling bin they used and stood there over the people until they handed him back to me.

I am not saying I was right or wrong to do this, or that all the mothers who let their newborns sleep in the nursery are right or wrong – it’s just what I did.  I didn’t want to be away from him.  Not for the night; not for a minute.  I just wanted to hold him and nurse him and watch him and marvel at him.

And so I did.

Almost all the schools in the Capital District were closed today, but not Wildwood, Jonah’s school.  Kids are bussed in from so many different school districts that sometimes the school stays open and just takes whatever kids make it in.  The Albany City School District was closed, so the busses didn’t come, but Andy drove him in, cupcakes, goodie bags, and all.  I think my son was literally one of a handful of students in the whole place today.

And just like M prayed for me, Jonah had a very good day at school.  I’m sure there wasn’t much of a party, and he was tough to handle both before and after school, but what I asked for was that he have a good day at school, and that’s exactly what I got.  He had zero aggressions.  Thanks, M, for praying it into reality.

Now that we are placing Jonah in a residential educational school, I think maybe there was a reason I clung to him like a burr when he was first born.  I think maybe it was because something deep inside my heart was telling me I wouldn’t be able to hold on to him for long – that we would lose him, in a sense…that he would have to go away.

Jonah doesn’t know it’s his birthday,  but for the first time ever there was no family birthday party, like every other year in our finished basement, Aunt T’s unfailingly delicious homemade chocolate cake the centerpiece of each celebration, its recipe passed down from her grandmother, always iced in chocolate too — a hand-decorated Happy Birthday Jonah squeezed in sweet blue icing next to a questionably identifiable drawing of a whale (Jonah’s home for three days in the Bible).

This site is one of many that tells the Story of Jonah.

“As Jonah is sinking into the sea, a big fish (whale) swallows him. (Jonah 1:17) Here we see God’s great mercy. He could have let Jonah suffer the consequences of his actions and drown. Yet, God intervenes and spares Jonah’s life. We often complain to God about the consequences of our sins but do we ever wonder how often He has spared us from consequences? I rarely ever think about that.”

I know I have been spared from many, many consequences.  But for the first time ever there isn’t a celebration around this day.  There’s too much behind it.  Around it.

And, just like the day he was born, I don’t want to let go of my little baby boy.


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