Monday, September 20, 2010

Twenty-One. Part 2.

On September 18, 1989, Nathan was born in Charlotte, NC after a pregnancy filled with complications.  I gained 60 pounds with him and lost 35 pounds the day he was born;  that tells you how much water I was retaining! Since I had severe pre-eclampsia which was headed quickly to toxemia, Nathan had to be induced about a week early.

We were happy, excited and pleased as punch to finally get to bring him home with us. The little guy was full of personality and giggles and melted our hearts into pools of parental puddles the moment we saw him.

 nate bday  

Now when I say we brought him “home,” you new readers may not realize that at that particular time in Smith History, home was a 40-foot RV that we lived in full time.  And not just Steve, Nathan and me, but also my sister, Debbie, and her husband, Randy.  The RV afforded the five of us 275 square feet of space. To live in. All the time. Twenty-four hours a day.

I will say this much.  Nathan had the potential to become the most spoiled child ever. I mean, think about it. It was just him and FOUR adults--cooing over him every minute of every day.  Randy and Debbie didn’t have children at that point so Nathan was their baby to practice on.  And love.  And diaper-change. And feed.  And burp. 

For two years straight, the five of us lived together and though, of course, Nathan doesn’t remember those days, a spot in his heart, a place in his psyche, and a part of his personality all have Randy and Debbie’s name written on them.

He was a blessed baby.

During the two-week break that Nathan (and I) got from the road after he was born, we stayed with Steve’s parents at their house in Charlotte.  A couple days after we brought Nathan home from the hospital, Hurricane Hugo hit and we were without power for over a week.  One newborn.  No power. Such fun!

So basically Nathan traveled full time from the age of two weeks until the age of twelve when we left the road to get Sarah into cancer treatment.  And he also traveled—in utero—full time from the moment of his conception until he came into the world.  He was most definitely “born a ramblin’ man.”

Nathan has been cuddled and oohed over and rocked by more grandma’s (from all over the United States) than you can ever imagine.  The kid has never met a stranger.

When Nathan was six, we welcomed Sarah into the Smith Traveling Life.  (We were still living in the same RV but by that time, Randy had Debbie were in their own RV so we all had a bit more space.)    Nathan was such a doting big brother and was an excellent  “Sarah sitter” when we had to rehearse or get some office work done.  He has always been able to make her giggle and smile and he especially brought those talents to bear during her illness when she felt her worst. If anyone could make her smile during that time, it was Nathan.

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Nathan and Sarah started out pretty entranced with each other when they were young and things haven’t changed much since then.  The picture in the middle is one of my favorites; Nathan had just caught his first glimpse of Sarah in the hospital.

Smith classic

Through the years, the two of them have had fun together, annoyed each other and loved each other. He’s a blessed big brother and she’s a blessed little sister.

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I’ll close out with a few more miscellaneous Nathan pictures; some that were in the video (posted Saturday) and some that weren’t.

This is such a happy picture; I’ve always loved it.

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Books were always a part of our kids’ lives.

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Since Nathan had been read to so much, he figured he’d pass the “reading blessing” along.

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He also attempted to lead his little sis in prayer over their meal but you can tell she’s got her eyes open and is peeking.

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Standing in front of our big RV-pullin’ semi, ready for yet another church service/concert.

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This is one of my very favorite pictures of the two of them.  We were in a hotel room in some state somewhere getting ready for a concert.  Their expressions tell a thousand stories.

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How I loved that handsome  little face.

 Slide23

And then a few years passed and that handsome little face turned into a handsome bigger face. And then the handsome bigger face—attached to handsome bigger body--moved away.  Sigh.

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But we still have pictures and memories.  Here’s Nathan speaking on Father’s Day a couple years ago.

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A mission trip to Ecuador.

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And the most recent pictures are a few from his 21st birthday party last Saturday.

Before they ate, everyone went around the circle and said something they liked or appreciated about Nathan.

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The birthday spread.

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It’s easy to see that turning twenty-one has really brought a new level of maturity to Nathan.

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The party consisted of table tennis and some Frisbee football. . .

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. . . as well as a birthday cake that was actually a cheese cake. (Which Nate loves!)

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To quote from a song we wrote for him for his baby dedication he’s the “son of our love, son our joy, child of our heart.”

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Welcome to adulthood, son. We’re more proud of you than we could ever say.

9 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

Well I just have to comment because the comment section looks so lonely!

Loved Nathan Post, Part Two! :-)

Love, Deb

Jan said...

Beautiful post!

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