How my firstborn child changed me and how the war changed us both.
My son Tekulve and his family.
My oldest son is 30 years old. I had him when I was 18. His birth was traumatic and it changed my life, but fortunately for me, I had two of the most incredible parents ever to help me through it. Another traumatic experience, the Iraqi War, changed my life as well as the life of my firstborn son. Although I believe both experiences to be the product of human error, I consider them blessings only a power greater than man could afford.
When firstborn, Tekulve, was born, I named him after the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kent Tekulve; a Pirates and Steelers fan for life. I thought the name Tekulve was unique and fitting for such a unique experience. He was absolutely the most beautiful child and no matter how scary the experience I knew I had to step up. I honestly believe that he is the only thing that I have loved from beginning to end. He grew up in my parents home and we were more like sister and brother than mom and son but he called me Maand we did everything together. We’re best friends now and I can’t begin to explain how proud I am of him. He is a typical Mommas boy but he is the man any Mother would want her son to grow up and be. He grew up old fashioned and thankfully he has a lot of the same values as my Dad. Dad is one of those old school gentlemen, near extinction, who still opens doors for a lady. Consequently, like most children, Tekulve was spoiled and he experimented but he never gave me cause to worry except when he joined the Army.
Tekulve joined the Army right after high school and is still military affiliated. He always said that he never wanted a family of his own; he just wanted to take care of me and my parents. He didn’t like the world as it was and he did not want a child of his growing up in it. That was the scariest time in my life. The war on Iraq changed us both. Although he insisted that the war was only a job, the war changed my son in a way only God could have intended. I won’t go into detail and it was not pretty, but after returning from Iraq the first time, my son married. He still didn’t place much emphasis on children but at least he had escalated past the swinging singles lifestyle. After a second tour, he transformed altogether. Coincidentally, in February of 2011 he is expecting a firstborn of his own. He loves God and his family and although he can dispute with the devil and win , a trait he inherited from his mom, he has done impressively well. I think he’ll make an awesome father because he was an awesome child.
I do not endorse teenage pregnancy and I vehemently protested the Iraqi War. A teenage pregnancy forced me to grow up sooner than I intended and a war convinced my son of the potency of being a father. I feel that both were mistakes blessed by God in spite of the circumstances. When I I think about it, I cannot help but be reminded that some mothers never get the opportunity to be mothers and some sons never returned from the war to become fathers. For this reason, it is with great pleasure that I salute a power so much greater than man and far more worthy than me.
Published in: Family