If I go into a sugar coma and die, please know I died a happy woman. The lemon supreme pie from Village Inn was an amazing way to go, considering there are a ton of other really hideous ways to leave this earth.
Oddly enough, that very topic came up at lunch today as I sat with three 12 year old boys at Qdoba. I don’t normally eat lunch with a gaggle of 12 year old boys, nor do I normally discuss my preferred method of dying, however, today is Will’s birthday, and you just never know what might be the topic of discussion with his buddies. After a few morbid minutes of appalling visuals, I mediated the conversation on to “exotic pets”. This went much better than I had hoped, although I need to be very cautious of letting Will near the internet with my credit card.
As I mentioned, today is a special day in the Repenning house. On this day, 12 years ago, Will entered the world, and I will never be the same. The day began like any other, except that I was ginormously pregnant and I fell in the shower. While he was not immediately hurt from his pre-birth fall, I do believe that tumble ensured him to go on and live a life of complete clumsiness. Not a day goes by that Will does not scream out in pain from a fall, stubbed toe, or various other bodily injury. We’ve learned it’s best to let the pain subside before getting too close or offering words of any kind.
Soon after I fell in the shower, I was back up and playing soccer in the backyard with Jack and Faith who were 5 and almost 2 at the time. I noticed a shooting pain as I waddled around and mentioned to Billy it was time. A few hours later Will entered the world and the first thing the nurse said was, “Wow, he has huge ankles”. My mother’s intuition knew at that moment he would not only have his dad’s name, he would follow in Billy’s footsteps physically, emotionally, and in every other way possible right down to bone structure.
Will is humble and kind about almost everything, except his hair. He struggles with pride when it comes to his hair. It is long, blonde, and falls just right. Sometimes when he catches his reflection, he will say, “Oh guy, my hair looks so good right now”. And he genuinely means it. In every other way, Will emulates humility and goodness. We all have our stuff though, am I right?
I learn so much from being a mom to a person who makes me work for a laugh. Will’s not into the typical potty humor I can use on Jack. For example, when I say, “Jack we don’t play with balls in the house” (awkward pause) and then both of us crack up like 12 year old boys on the playground might. Will just looks at us shamefully and shrugs his shoulders as if to say, “idiots”. Will’s humor, like everything else, comes from his father. He finds joy in telling a riddle that takes 30 minutes to get through while I secretly and publically would rather have my ears cleaned by a rhesus monkey. Thankfully, Billy also enjoys riddles, so the two of them have their alone time each day to share this joy while I don’t have to be around.
Being Will’s mom also teaches me about patience. He is the real deal when it comes to explaining something scientific. I get simple concepts like mass and gravity, but Will likes to take ideas to a much deeper level. He take concepts that don’t even sound real such as dark matter or kinetic energy and explains them to me. I think he likes to talk about deep things, but I believe he thinks the new knowledge will help me be a more well rounded person. I may not learn much from our talks, but more than anything I learn to be patient. He teaches me to sit and be still. He teaches me to listen. He teaches me to appreciate his brain and how amazing it is that he sees everything so differently than I do. He teaches me that the world is so interesting. Did you know the universe is constantly expanding? Well I do, thanks to Will.
Eight years ago I was taking prerequisite classes to go to Nursing School. Will would sit in my lap and watch the on line tutorials with me for hours. He’d yell “ATP! ATP! Mitochondria!!!”. And I would learn while he sat in my lap. Will inspired me to become so much more than I ever thought possible. Because he sat in my lap and was so excited to learn, I became excited to learn. Because he valued knowledge, I began to value it too. Will motivates me daily to open my eyes and stretch my brain, my heart, my grace, and my love for others.
Will is 12 and the clock continues ticking. The biggest surprise of my life continues to grow, challenge, and surprise me daily. My prayer for Will is to never stop seeing God in all that you learn. Listen to God as He leads you down paths that you didn’t know existed. Remember that simple isn’t bad. And always remember you are never alone. Love you Will.