Not only are milestones important reminders of our past, but they also pave the way to our future. Some milestones are painful to recall, but others are joyous occasions worth not only revisiting, but also sharing. On May 2 as we celebrate his 20th birthday, our youngest son, Christopher, leaves his teenage years behind. What follows is a blog written by me just days before his 14th birthday:
Friday Night Face Off: Purple and White versus Maroon. Clad in the #14, a tribute to his older brother, Chris takes the field. Commotion commences with a whistle blow followed by a melee of arms, legs and pubescent energy.
Two minutes into the game, Chris boots one in the net. Before his modest parents can Tweet the news, he scores again! High fives and chest bumps are shared among the teammates while fans and parents scream boisterously. Similar thoughts enter everyone’s minds; “Great night to be a Diamondback!”
Excitement builds, both teams fighting for victory. With two minutes left in the second period, Chris scores his third goal. Hat Trick!!!! Hats cover the field as exuberant fans toss their favorite head coverings in honor of the game’s MVP. Okay, fans didn’t really toss their hats onto the field, but it would have been an entertaining gesture.
Rewind the clock fourteen years to May 2, 1996; the day Christopher David Miller made his laborious entry into the world. At 9 pounds 11 ounces, 21 ½ inches, Chris was a healthy baby.
Two months later, with no foretelling indications of arrested development, his parents were shocked by a pediatrician’s diagnosis. What should have been a routine well baby check up brought news that one of Christopher’s legs turned abnormally inward.
The stunned parents listened as the doctor explained Chris would never walk or run normally. He would have to endure “corrective” bone breaks and wear leg braces. Shaken at the news, but resolved to overcome, the family quietly left the doctor’s office.
Tears flowed as Christopher’s mother declared, “My child will not be crippled. His legs will grow normally. He will have no broken bones nor will he require leg braces.” With steadfast determination the parents clung to their faith in God, believing Christopher’s leg would develop normally.
As months passed, Christopher hit all the expected milestones, scooting, crawling and walking. By the age of two he exhibited unusual athletic ability. The doctor’s diagnosis was soon forgotten, consumed by the activities of daily life.
Fast-forward to the summer Chris turned six. Attending his first football camp Chris earned the revered title, “Punt, Pass & Kick Champion.” That afternoon, as his mother proudly looked on, these thoughts entered her mind, “Remember his turned leg and the doctor’s diagnosis? Chris’ athletic ability is a gift from God. The diagnosis was an attempt to steal that gift.” Excelling at football, basketball, baseball, soccer and track, Chris has been kicking butt and taking names ever since.
Two days before his fourteenth birthday, Chris scored his first hat trick. Beaming with joy, his grateful mother was again reminded of the miraculous gift God had worked in their lives.
Chris is now a strapping young man, who stands 6’2”, weighs approximately 225 pounds, and is currently in spring training preparing for his third year playing college football. Looking at him, one would never believe the diagnosis his father and I received. However, if you watch closely when he runs, you will see the foot that turns in ever so slightly.
That turned foot serves as a milestone to remind us not only of where we’ve been, but how prayer united with determination is a powerful force that can get us through just about any circumstance that comes our way.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON! I LOVE YOU!
Until Next Time,
Becky J Miller