By Chris Janzen
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I knew him even though I'd never seen him before in my life...
I knew him even though I'd never seen him before in my life. When my newborn son was placed at long last into my arms I knew the eyes that looked back at me. Were they my own blue eyes, or his fathers? They were familiar and precious. For nine agonizing months I had waited for this moment; had endured perpetual morning, noon, and night sickness; gained 50 pounds, and been put on bed rest. My first experience with pregnancy had not been as fun as I had hoped. The delivery was a nightmare as well, with my son weighing in at over 10 pounds, and me choosing not to use any drugs and go all natural! Note to self! Next time take the drugs!
None of that mattered now as I looked into those big blue eyes so similar to my own, so similar to all the members of my family. My father had told me once that “children are a reflection of yourself.” Now I understood exactly what he meant. I looked at this beautiful child and saw myself, saw everything that had been both wrong and right with my childhood. I saw my opportunity to keep the good and to right the wrongs. I had a profound sense that my life would never, EVER be the same. I knew for certain I had never loved anyone more. This was the most important day of my life.
It had been ten years since any children had been born into our large family and I had the distinct impression they had all given up hope on me ever finding someone and having a child of my own. Yet here I was, with the man I loved, proudly admiring our precious little boy. I remember a tidal wave of emotion flooding over me and thinking, I will never ever hurt this child. He is going to be the most loved kid in all the world. I am going to avoid every pitfall and mistake my parents made and raise him right. All the wonderful things they did for me I will do for him. My own childhood had been a sweet one, but I still wanted better for my son. I wanted to give him the best of everything, especially myself.
Now here I was 22 years later, holding my son's little newborn baby girl, looking into those same familiar big blue eyes and thinking, I have never loved anyone more than I love this child. I tried to remember the day my son was born, but it was all a blur that literally went by in the blinking of an eye. I vowed it would be different with my little granddaughter. I was going to be the best, coolest, most awesome Grandma in the world! I had done the best I could with my son, and there were certainly challenges along the way. If given the chance, there were things I would have done differently. I made a silent vow to myself to help him and his wife avoid the pitfalls and mistakes I had made along the way. I knew they would raise her right. As I looked into the teary eyes of my all-grown-up son, I recognized myself. He was a reflection of me and now she was a reflection of him. No child would ever be loved more.
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