32 years ago today, I became a parent.
Yes, 11 months earlier I had had the physical and spiritual experience of becoming a mother. But because God did not allow us to bring our firstborn home and instead took Jonathan to be with Him, my real experience of being a parent began with the arrival of Aubrey in December of 1974. She arrived more than three weeks "late" at 9 lbs and 23 3/4 inches (can you picture a newborn, two feet long?) with a huge shock of long black hair and dimples that showed up with her first grimace. And with the first glance, we were in love.
I could write (and sometimes do, see below regarding the fashion Bible) about the major events and the sweet anecdotes from Aubrey's life. But nothing, ever, touched my heart in the same way as watching her become a mother. Maybe it's a universal thing...for a mother, is there anything as fulfilling as having a daughter who becomes a mother herself? Especially one who does it so creatively, so sensitively, and so faithfully? Aubrey has spent the past eleven years falling in love with six children of her own, and each time I see her with one of them I am reminded of the wonder of the circle of life and of God's graciousness in allowing me to witness another generation of His children.
Those of you who know Aubrey know that she's much more than a mother. She is a blessed and loving wife to my (counter-scrubbing!) son-in-law; she is one of a group of sisters who fill each other's lives with laughter and tears and meaning; she is a tireless servant to scores of women and families during every imaginable kind of crisis; she is the elegant pastor's wife of our lucky congregation....and she is my friend.
I couldn't ask for more.
Happy Birthday, Aubrey!