On February 17, 1986, my husband and I found out whether our first child was Michelle or Eric. That morning, our 8 lb. 9 oz., 21 1/2 inch Bundle of Boy took his first breath. They tell new moms to rest and sleep during the hospital stay, but who could sleep when the most amazing thing ever had just occurred?! My mind kept replaying the entire event during those first nights. When Eric was born, my first words were, “He’s so big!” Today I dug out his baby book to find his first word – duck.
Opening that book began a sentimental journey that was surprisingly eye-opening. The many little stories, facts, and quotations from Eric’s earliest years hinted at the personality, interests and talents which resulted in the Good Man he is today.
- By age three, Eric was using words like “particular” and “actually” correctly and impressing the oral hygienist by being so “articulate”. He went on to deliver the commencement speech at both his high school and college graduations.
- At 22 months, Eric was learning and singing songs, and by age three he was determined to be a drummer. He completed his college degree in Percussion Performance and has been leading worship in churches and teaching music in camps since his teen years.
- Speaking of leading, my notes in Baby’s Milestones indicate that Eric was a born leader. In play, it seems that he like to make the rules and expected the other kids to follow them. The world needs Good Men with God-given leadership skills to be great husbands, fathers, employees, employers, etc.
- When we took our toddler out, he exhibited keen interest in other people. During his first trip to the zoo, he gave some notice to the elephants and giraffes, but mostly watched people. To this day, I am impressed with how much interest Eric has in what is going on in the world. He has concern, like many in his generation, for the well-being of those who are oppressed and keeps a close watch on goings-on in the news.
- My accounts of Eric’s early Christmas celebrations reminded me that by age three he was curious about Jesus. Nativity sets at churches or in yards fascinated him. He loved singing Christmas songs and now plans and leads Christmas Eve services, along with weekly worship music. I also made note of the fact that at age four, Eric was in Sunday School and wanted to go every week so he could earn an attendance pin. As he grew older, his interest in church only intensified, and we began having what we call our “deep theological discussions”. He has been dedicated to studying the Bible for many years. As Eric celebrates his 31st birthday, he is in his first year of seminary studies with the goal of becoming a pastor. Our discussions are getting deeper and I learn something every time.
I am proud of my son. I know that many people, events, and trials have shaped him and that God has been working out His plan for Eric from before his birth. When adversity has come, I have admired how he came through it with deeper faith, maturity, and compassion. I appreciate his viewpoints and advice, and look forward to what these next years will bring. And I celebrate with him as he anticipates his marriage to sweet Amanda.
“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,and continues to do this,
not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25