This week is a very special week in our house. This week we celebrate two very important birthdays: Jordan and Cameron.
I cannot believe it’s been 17 years since I was introduced to Jordan Alexander Cason. In some ways, the day he was born seems like yesterday. Nonetheless, it’s been 17 years. It’s been a wild ride.
Jordan came into this world via an emergency cesarean section at 12:03 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2000, and he’s been surprising us ever since. When he was a few months old, I was holding him after his bath. He smelled of Johnson's Baby Lotion. He had just been bathe, fed and I was burping him. As I took in a deep breath and smelled that incredible “new baby smell,” I knew I’d always remember that moment.
That night, he was wearing yellow onesie. To this day, no other child has worn this garment. It was Jordan's, and it remains his. I kept to remind myself of this day when he was so small. It was before he could sit up, talk, walk or play, but the memory is powerful.
This summer, I experienced another memory with him as he got his driver’s license. There we were in the fire training center so that he could take his test. We’d put it off until we really couldn’t anymore. Jordan had to get his license. As we waited, I became increasingly nervous. Before his name was called, I was almost in a panic. How could my baby be about to take his driving test? This could not be real, but it was. I was more nervous than he was, and I think I made him panic a little. He didn’t pass on his first try so he tried again a few weeks later with success.
Jordan is a junior this year. It’s hard for me to believe he’s just two short school years away from moving into a dorm and experiencing college. I am excited for all of the things that are ahead of him but as a parent, I am terrified. I feel almost like I did when he went to kindergarten. I know I can’t keep him in a bubble, but I sure want to so I can keep him safe. I am learning to let go. It's more difficult than I could have ever imagined.
Cameron will be 14 on Monday. He surprised us at 12:26 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2003. Cameron is special to us in his own way. For almost seven years, he was my baby. While parenting him has had its challenges, Cameron’s devotion to friends, family and his faith are what make me so unique and wonderful.
I’ll never forget when Cam was little. He had an imaginary friend until he was about four years old. His name was Jesus. Everywhere Cameron went Jesus had to go. He’d say, “Mama, wait on Jesus. He’s coming too” or “You have to tell Jesus good night, too.”
I remember on time Cameron said, “What’s Jesus doing over there?” Of course, none of us could see him so we said, “over where?” Cameron replied, “Over there, on that roof. I don’t know what he’s doing over there.” We all looked and there was nothing there. Honestly, this is the last time I can remember Cameron commenting on this “imaginary friend.”
At first we laughed about his imaginary friend, but one day my grandmother said, “How do you know he’s really not seeing Jesus?” That got me thinking. As far as I know, Cameron could have had our Lord and Savior with him all those years. We don’t know.
When we talk now about Cameron’s imaginary friend, he says he doesn’t know what we are talking about.
I know the Lord walks with us all, but I know Cameron must be extra special to God to have sent His own son to be Cameron’s friend when he was young. God must have big plans for my son. I don’t know what they are, but I know one day, God will reveal this plan—His plan.
There are million and one things that make my boys wonderful additions to our family. But the one thing that outweighs them all is that God made them mine. He gave them to me to love, teach and release in this world. I believe they will make this world a better place. Are they perfect? No, they are far from it. However, they are special in my eyes—and in God’s eyes.
And, that’s all that really matters.
Happy birthday to both my sons, Cameron and Jordan. My life would not be the same without you, and you make me a better person daily.
Melissa Cason is a former journalist who teaches high school English and Journalism. She can be reached at email@example.com.