As you can see from this photo we have both changed a bit over the years. As it approaches the hour where I went into labour I think back fondly of the little boy who taught me how to be a mother.
Each year at the opening of the PNE I remember back to the year you were born. We were living in Gold River at the time and had come down to stay at Nanny's and Papa's in Cumberland for the night before heading out to catch the first ferry. You weren't due for another couple of weeks and we were excited about heading to the mainland. However, events conspired to keep us away that August of 1973. The B.C. Ferries went on strike on Friday, which is kind of too bad because I'm pretty sure if you deliver aboard you get free sailings for life. Little did we know at that time how many ferries we would take over the years.
Dad and I stayed in the upstairs bedroom where there was an old-fashioned, flip the number down digital clock. Some time during the night my back started to ache and I sat up and leaned against the wall rubbing my back to stop the ache. Each time the number on the clock flipped it made a sound and before too long this was driving me crazy. But wait. If the clock hadn't been there I may not have clued in that my aching back only ached every few minutes. Before too many hours were up we realized that "IT" was happening. We packed things up and headed to the hospital. While I have always loved driving along the Dyke Rd, that morning is unforgettable in my mind. The sun was coming up over the water making everything in sight just a little sparkly. The tide was out a bit and it was SO peaceful. That trip to the St. Joseph's Hospital in Comox brought us the most marvelous miracle - you!
I won't gross you out with the details of the delivery and our family all knows what a surprise you were to everyone (so we'll leave those details out this time as well).
Jason, from day 1 to day 14 608 (I'm not going to figure out the leap years), you have been a blessing. You were a happy baby and dad and I were so lucky to have such a good teacher. You taught us that family is everything. Our whole world revolved around you for those first few months and we learned as we went. You let us know when you weren't happy, which wasn't often (oh yeah, except for that diaper pin thing with dad). You slept well, you ate well, you smiled often and you pretty much taught us all we needed to know about parenting; love you, feed you, change you and play with you, and we did! Dad was so excited to buy you all the toys he wanted to play with and lucky for me he was a great dad right from the start. You were a curious boy who loved to learn. I think anyone who was around will remember your early renditions of Rhinestone Cowboy, your laps around the coffee table at Nanny's and Papa's and your very cheerful, "Hi Guys". You've heard the story about when you learned to read but just once more won't hurt :) When we drove around Victoria you watched out the window and yelled out every word you recognized: STOP, The Bay, UVic, museum and many, many more. You never lost your enthusiasm for the written word!
Dad was a student at UVic at the time and our families were far away so you and I spent a lot of time together. We didn't have much money but we were creative and lived during a time when many things were free. We walked everywhere in Victoria. Beacon Hill Park was a favourite and we saved bread crusts for you to feed the ducks. By the time you could walk you had done many laps around the museum in Victoria, pointing to things and running from exhibit to exhibit. We threw rocks in the water, window shopped and played, played, played. Good thing those things were free!
We were happy as we watched you grow to see your love of reading and sports grow with you. School was easy for you and you made friendships easily. Watching you on the baseball diamond and on the basketball court are some of my best memories, but only some.
I'm not sure where the years went but they did. You have grown into an amazing man. You have a wonderful family and my heart bursts when I see how much you love Lizzie and how important your relationships with your family are. You and Lisa should be proud of who you are as individuals, as a couple and as a family. You took the road less travelled on your journey to becoming a teacher but as we've said before, you are a better teacher for it.
Jason, thank you so much for all you have given us over the years. I can't imagine anyone having a son they could be more proud of. Happy 40th birthday - we hope your year is filled with even more love and family time and travel and work and adventure than this past one.