Bryce’s 17th Birthday

Bryce turns 17 today.

Bryce was the beginning of my life. He was the first child I gave birth too.

That’s a story. I worked at a credit union and the power went out. we locked everything down..waited for a few hours played cards ect. Finally they sent me home. There was snow falling and it was cold. but I like that type of weather. So I got home my power was out as well. I decided to take my dog for a walk. I was due in 3 weeks. I was enjoying the weather with my little cocker spaniel, Lucy. When Landon pulls up and says ..”Hey…what are you doing?…everyone is looking for you. we have called everywhere ( this is before everyone owned cellphones).” I said “Who is everyone and why are you looking for me..I was just walking the dog?..why are you off of work?” We were in the middle of a freak storm called “Ice Storm” in Spokane at the time. the whole city was out of power because it had snowed, then rained then froze. Threes were falling down on cars & houses….Roofs were caving in. I was just out enjoying the weather. Oblivious to what was going on. I felt bad that people thought something bad had happened to me.

So that night we stayed at my mother’s house because she had power.  I had a dr. appt the next day. Our power came on that day…my mother’s house went out..and if I remember right it was out for days. My friend Mary’s house was out for weeks…and so were Landon’s grandparents. They always hosted thanksgiving ( which was only a few days after Bryce was born) and she wouldn’t  give up on that so she cooked the whole thanksgiving feast in the motor home and brought it in to the house.  I think I would have ordered out…..that’s dedication.

I went to my regular check up at the dr. I had such high blood pressure they wouldn’t let me out of the hospital. Now I know that I am prone to that during pregnancy and why I had to have all of my children a wee bit early. So I was admitted…..and upset. Landon had just lost his job..and he was out working on some odd jobs….he had bowling league that night.  Around 3 o clock I was sitting in my bed after they had been running stress tests all day and my water broke. I thought I had peed my pants. LOL. So young and naive. Then I started active labor. Landon called I told him my water broke. He told me he was going to go to bowling league and come to the hospital after…..bowling started at 6. I was so mad. I can’t remember what I said on the phone..but I started crying and got emotional. He was under the impression that labor would last for hours and why did he need to be there?  I told him he better be or he would have to deal with me later. LOL

As it turns out he was born 3 hours later at 6:12pm. It was fast & scary.

In that moment my world changed. I suffered terrible post pardum…but again I didn’t know what I was experiencing. I really wanted to breast feed but none of the women in my family did that…so I didn’t know what a nursing bra was…or how to get him to latch on. It was a constant battle for me. My aunt who married in, came over a few days after he was born with a nursing bra & pads and explained it to me. I was so grateful.  I felt like i was a lost sheep trying to read everything and do everything right. I had this deep need to do everything correctly so I could change the pattern. I made lots of mistakes. Nobody told me that you have to lay babies on different sides so there heads don’t get misshaped or form bald spots. Thank God that he looks normal now. He didn’t always look normal.

But we eventually learned. Bryce was so funny & charming…he was so social and loved everyone. There were no strangers. He loved everyone. Any new song or trick he learned he would show anyone one walking past or share the secrets he learned. He always made fast friends and always a good host to his friends that came to play. He didn’t understand when people were being mean to him.

When he was a toddler…if I told him to go to his room or disciplined him…he would start crying and say “You hurt my feewings”…and run to his room. LOL

He also loved playing with the dogs, eating their dog food and crawling in their kennels. I would have to make him get out and he would be a hairy mess. I would try to offer him other snacks then the dog food he kept stealing.   Trying to get him to quit eating it. I would go into his room to clean his toys and I would find a stash of dog food he was keeping for later? LOL I am sure he would love me sharing that with the world.

A sad thing I will always remember…when I was a single mom….I would have to drive through traffic a long time to get home from work. we would sing in the car. I always tried to make it fun and light. All 3 of them crammed in their car seats ect. When We were with Landon he didn’t think we should listen to kid music or sing. He hated that ( he was young too and didn’t realize that maybe you make concessions in the car when your kids are in there) ….I found that singing with them in the car always made them feel better. So I said” what should we sing?” I said “How about Jesus Loves the little Children” Bryce said “No mom. I can never sing that again.” I said “Why?” He said “Because my dad left so I don’t think Jesus loves me anymore” My eyes filled up and I tried to think of how I could make this better for him.  At 4 years old how do you explain that? I told him that we all love him and it’s just that mommy & daddy can’t get along. It was terrible sad.

Bryce had such a  funny laugh as a baby & toddler….it was straight from the belly and infectious. When we would be at the mall or eating somewhere if he laughed people would turn and smile or start laughing because his laugh was so funny. He has also had an unusual voice…kind of raspy and always deeper than you think it should be.  He always talked really loud too. He never learned how to with a deep-raspy voice can imagine how it was when we told him to whisper as a child. LOL

I have so many memories of him as a young child. Thinking through these last 17 years and all that we have been through. How he has changed my life. Given me purpose. How I learned to love more & appreciate good parents more. How to live intentionally ( after I got the hang of parenting). How my perspective has changed so much on life. How a little being can do that to you. The minute he was born my heart exploded on earth….All I ever wanted is what was best for him…I stumbled several times because I didn’t know any better but my heart was always there with him. He and I are really bonded. He hates that now…but I know when he is older he will appreciate all of this more. He has been trying to break free from the mommy things for a few years…I have been in a tug of war as well.  He has a strong personality and it has been difficult at times. All of us have gray hair because of him and his mouth. I am pretty sure Landon has ulcers…eating away at his stomach because he wants so much for Bryce and he is always throwing us curve balls.   More than once Rob has wanted to send him to Landon’s..and more than once Landon has begged me to take him. But I know within my soul what will happen if I were to give up on him. He is testing me & my loyalty and he has really put me through the ringer. I know in his mind he felt like his dad left him. Landon has been a good father (once he got his wiggles out after the divorce and married a decent person)…but just the fact that he left Bryce felt abandoned. I knew if I just stuck it out with him and never left him or told him I wanted him out & kicked him out to his Dad’s…I wanted to make sure he knew I always wanted him and I would never leave him. I know above all that is what my little boy wanted/needed. So I never caved. I feel like it worked. I feel like he knows how much I love him and that I will always have his back. I feel like I had to prove myself to him….is it over? No-probably not. But I feel proud that I hung in this far. When I have two grown men telling me to let go and I still hang on with mother’s intuition knowing that I will put up with He*l for a long period of time to make him aware of the depth of my love. Now we are on the other side…..That’s a great feeling. I knew I had to be the rock.

Parenting is not easy. But it is the most rewarding job on earth. Bryce was sent to me I could change my existence.  I am thankful everyday for him…even in the storms. He was the beginning of my life….and I would never change that. God has amazing plans for him. He will be a great leader when he gets some refinement. I am always proud of him and what he accomplishes when he puts his mind to something.

His funny sense of humor…he can make me laugh. He has terrible impersonations….but they still make us laugh. He has amazing intuition and he can read people’s hearts. I can tell right away if someone rubs him the wrong way. He can spot out when someone is lying. We are a good team when it comes to that. Even when he was little I could count on him….  he’s very protective.

So many good things. I am a proud mamma. I am excited to see what life brings to him.

Happy Birthday Bryce, i love you!’





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