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The Great Thing

Truth be told I never wanted children. I had decided that they cost a lot of money. Money that could be going to great things. They take so much time. Time that could be devoted to doing great things. And, at age 28, I was a woman purposed to do Great Things.Then, on January 23, 1990 Jordan Chiero created a mother, interrupting my intent like a lightening strike.

I was right. It started with diapers and clothing and walkers and books; then preschool and swim lessons... and bicycles and dogs. Then uniforms and cleats and bats and coats. Bigger clothes and replacement clothes because he left the first set at a sleepover. Bigger bats and more expensive cleats and lessons and tournaments and ball trips and hotels. Private coaches and longer trips and better uniforms. Then driving lessons and prom pictures and Senior awards and college visits. Cells phones - and another cell phone because he jumped in the pool; college and textbooks and Chipotle and cars and gas money. And doctor's visits and broken things ... bones and furniture, laptops and hearts.

All that money could have gone to great things.

I was right. The time. Tying shoes and cleaning up; washing clothes and feeding friends. Team mom and homeroom helper; Field trip driving and 2:00 a.m. hunts for poster board. Teacher conferences and birthday parties, ironing dress pants pulled from a gym bag and digging out the tie (God, let it match...) Washing strange clothes and tracking down the owners; late night talks and early morning battles. Proofreading essays and correcting grammar. Time (years?) on bleachers and ball fields.

Oh, the time that could have been devoted to great things.

One day that boy became a man. I reach up to touch his face rather than look down. He is his Christian Chiero's best friend and Lindsay Chiero's hero. I watch him give a 10-year-old confidence to hit a ball and Captain a team to victory. He thrives in the camaraderie of teamwork; he's man enough to cry when he leaves it behind. He teaches me perseverence and dedication. He works hard when the odds are for him, harder when they are not. He has stung me with conviction when he wears his heart on his sleeve. He has brought me to tears when he puts that heart in a note. He thinks deeply and loves completely. He showed me that heartstopping, breathtaking, hit-by-a-truck love is not a choice. But commiting daily to love is. He is a loyal friend. He makes me laugh like no one else. He puts his 6'2" frame between me and danger and tells me he would die for me and I know he means it.

I was wrong.

Because I now realize what every mother knows. Or will know. Or should know. I put every penny and every minute into The Great Thing.

Happy Birthday my Son. My Great Thing.

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