December 24, 2009
Our Baby is 22 Today!
Yes, our youngest, Harrison, is 22 today, which makes us officially – OLD! It seems so cliche to say “Where has the time gone?” but, seriously, how does a child go from birth to 22 years old so quickly?
He was born on Christmas eve day in sunny Scottsdale, AZ, the only birth that day at the hospital. Any patient who could go home that day, did. There was one nurse on duty on the OB floor, and she had just two patients -me & Harry. When I was up to it, she asked if we could just keep our new baby in my room, so she wouldn’t have to keep going back and forth from the nursery to my room. At lunch she brought me a Santa decorated chocolate cupcake… just because. I devoured it, and Harry and I had our first Christmas together.
When we brought him home, at first his not-quite-2-year-old-sister was so thrilled, all she wanted to do was hug him and kiss him, and help me take care of him. That lasted about a week. Soon, we had to keep her away from him, because all she wanted to do was chuck her toys at his head. He’s lucky to be alive. But, as they grew older, they were so very close and were INseparable. He would play Barbies with her, she would play Legos with him. She told him what NOT to wear, he picked her friends for her. (well, tried to, at least)
Our oldest daughter, who was 10 years old, immediately became like a second mom to him, which never stopped and continues to this day. As a little boy he developed a healthy respect for her opinions and guidance, and depended on her to always keep him on track to be the coolest guy ever.
His older brother,8 years his senior, was Harry’s role model. Harry annoyed the heck out of him, following him EVERYwhere. Today they both live in southern California, and are best buds. Harry was very proud to be the best man at his brother’s wedding this past summer, standing right there by his side as he said his I-do’s.
When Harry was in third grade, we felt he would have a better education being schooled at home, and so we started homeschooling him and continued to do so every year, through his junior high years. He excelled in his academics in that environment, and was so happy to have more time to pursue his interests in karate, little league baseball, and church missions work. He even took piano lessons for a year and we discovered what a talented musician he was.
With our move to California, Harry wanted to attend public high school, so we found the best school and moved to that city. It was a new adventure for him – new home, new friends, new city. I remember feeling so proud that he was handling it all so well, but soon he had to face a very big challenge.
His freshman year he was diagnosed with a serious blood disease, and would battle the illness, and all the subsequent surgeries and debilitating physical and mental side effects for the next several years. His education had to constantly be put on hold, as well as his aspirations to play in high school sports. No teenager should have had to go through what he went through. But he did, and we were so proud of him.
His doctors told us on several occasions how impressed they were with his amazing attitude and strong character throughout the entire ordeal. We knew what a special son we had, but had no idea the depth of his faith and strength of his character which allowed him to endure and persist in accepting what came his way every day.
Even though he has some pretty severe physical scarring from those years, the blood disease is gone and he has grown so much in his faith. He is building an amazing new adult life for himself and his new love, Dani. Because his faith and character were tested at a very young age, he knows for certain, that whatever comes his way, he will be able to get through it, with God’s grace.
At the age of 18 he decided he wanted to help other people, and became certified as an emergency medical technician. His next goal is to become a paramedic/fire fighter and will embark on a new adventure in January, as he has accepted a position as cadet at the fire academy in LA.
Harry, we love you, and are so proud of you. You are one of a kind, unique, and special creation, a child of the King. You have grown into an amazing adult, with a beautiful, caring spirit. You have an awesome future awaiting you, we pray for God’s many blessings on you, this special day, your birthday. May all your dreams come true.
Mom and Dad