My oldest son reached the mid-century mark today.*
How can that be?
That would mean that fifty, yes, fifty, as in 50, years ago today, I became a mom.
More importantly, Ryan, my
entered this world on a beautiful Sunday early afternoon in September,
fifty years ago today.
This mother’s heart has stayed young and does not count the years when she thinks of her children.
Is that because children, even after they are grown, keep one’s heart young?
|Ryan and Mom|
I had no idea when I first met my firstborn that his life would expand my world so much. From his earliest days, he was such a delight to me. That first year of his life was a year when I had the opportunity to bond deeply with him. His father began college on the day I brought Ryan home from the hospital, and Ryan's father worked a full-time job at night also. That meant that Ryan and I spent many hours alone, but what delight filled hours they were for me. In those early years, many evenings were spent with mom pushing Ryan in his stroller for long walks exploring the neighborhoods near the basement apartment where we lived. Often when he was a little older we would end up in a park where Ryan loved playing on the playground equipment.
Then, there was the day when my son got his first set of wheels.
His life, and mine, changed that day.
He now had a vehicle where he could explore the big wide world out there on his own.
Honestly, I was a protective, almost over-protective mom to my very core. Once Ryan had wheels, this protective mom learned she could never keep up with Ryan and his next adventure. He was off and running. Somehow, he’d be out of the house and on his bike before I’d discover he was gone, and I had no idea where to start looking for him. At the age of three, he was seen riding his tricycle down the middle of a busy street as if he owned the road while I was looking for him somewhere else close to home. He’d decided he wanted to go to the grocery store where I’d wheeled him in his stroller, or driven him to by car, by himself. Thankfully, someone saw him, and brought him home just before he crossed one of the busiest intersections in town on his little blue tricycle. I should have known then that adventure and exploration would be a foreshadowing of his life.
Somehow, he survived riding dirt bikes that weren’t really dirt bikes, in places where his mother did not want him riding. Somehow, he survived the driving the hot red sports car that got when he was 18, the little Mazda sports cars that he had through his thirties and forties. He loves his wheels, and I always love when he takes me for a spin in one of his sports cars. It is a thrill, but honestly, I also hang on and close my eyes, and sometimes, ok, always, say, “Ryan, please be careful.” Mostly, though, I just try to hang on and enjoy the ride. This has been a metaphor for my life with my firstborn son.
|Ryan in his banking days|
Now, in his fiftieth year, he is in the finance industry in an entirely new way. I don’t even understand his new job, but he does, and that is what counts. He has been on the ground floor in developing a program for the lending industry. It has been an exciting, fulfilling time for him as he has worked in the development of and the marketing of this new financial tool that lenders throughout the country will be using. Best of all, he says he no longer has to wear and suit, and in his fiftieth year, he has let his hair grow long and grown a beard. He doesn’t look like a banker anymore.
One picture of Ryan that I carry around in my head as one of my happiest memories is the one when he burst out of a hospital delivery room with his first-born son in his arms to present my first-born grandchild and grandson to me. The look on his face was priceless. It seemed to say, “Mom, look what I did.” He was so proud and so happy. I tear up every time I remember it. Ryan is a great dad. He loves being a dad, and his kids love having them as their father.
|Ryan with his three children|
Regan, Parker & Bridger
|Christmas morning 2010|
Ryan with Parker and Regan
|Ryan cooking breakfast for mom in her kitchen while wearing her apron.|
Somewhere along the line, Ryan learned that he loved to cook. Was it when he took cooking in junior high? Was it when he was scouting? I don’t know when he first started loving to cook, but he does love to cook, and he is a great cook. I remember him walking in the door from a ten-hour day of banking, after a commute of two hours a day added on, and begin rolling up his sleeves as he walked in the door ready to fix dinner for the kids. He says cooking relaxes him. It also brings out his creative nature. In his fiftieth year, he loves cooking for the kids, the family, for friends, or just with his wife whenever he gets the chance.
|Ryan creating the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner with Sheridan|
Together, they have worked at building a family, a blended family, and a future that is filled with much love. They have bought and built a family business that his wife Sheridan began with her sister many years before Ryan entered the picture. Now in his fiftieth year, he and Sheridan manage a family owned boutique, (mostly Sheridan does this job these days), and he also works long hours with his financial software business job. These two work long, hard hours, but they do it together.
|The "Mordiansens" a blended family|
Parker, Regan, Max, Bridger, Henry, Sheridan, and Ryan
They also parent together so well. It warms this mother’s heart to see how they are such great parenting partners.
How could a young mom all those years ago have ever known the way that small son she first held would bring so much richness into her life? As I told my husband today, I love having sons. I’m also so grateful that I have daughters. There is a special part in a mom’s heart for her first-born son. He is the one that introduces her to the memorable ride of being a mom. What a ride it has been.
Photos of mother and son from 2007 to 2017 are below.
|Ryan & Sally|
Thank you, Ryan for gifting my life for the past half century. (How can it have been that long?) You have so exceeded every desire I ever had for you when you were a child. I never even would have imagined the path your life has taken. Perhaps one of the earliest milestones you reached was becoming an Eagle Scout. When I think of you, I can’t help but think of the Eagle Scout character traits that you portray in so well in your life. The words loyal, trustworthy, friendly, helpful come to mind. You learned early to love the outdoors and survive in it. That transferred over to living successfully in any environment where you found yourself. You learned to set goals and reach them. You learned leadership, and you have lead well. You learned to love adventure, hiking, biking, skiing, and hiking. You keep on doing that every chance you get. You make my day every time I hear your voice, and when you hang up the phone, you always say, "I love you, Ma." You have been a wonderful son, brother, husband, father, friend, and business man. You have made me proud. I hope the coming decade brings you continued success in all that you do.
Given your genetic makeup, you most likely have at least another fifty years of living, loving, and laughing ahead of you. Enjoy it. I love you.
* My photo program froze as I was writing this post, so I couldn't access many of the photos I had hoped to share in this post.
** The formatting on this post is mixed up and crazy, but if I try to change it, it will take me until Ryan is another year older.