I’m so excited to show you the garden bench that Mac built! He wanted to build something for my garden, and the result is this beauty!
For those of you that are new to my beloved blog, first, I’d like to thank you so much for joining us! Second, I’d like to tell you a little about us here at Farmhouse 1820, and fill everyone in on a very special story that I first wrote about six years ago, and share a few of the progresses made over the years.
April is a very busy month around here, this week in particular. Caroline’s birthday was on Monday, and today is Mac’s birthday.
He’s turning 17.
I can’t believe how time has flown. Sounds so cliché as that’s what everyone says about time other than when you’re painfully bored. But when our children are concerned, watching them grow up pulls at the heart, and some things you remember like they were yesterday.
Mac was born with complications. He stopped breathing on us twice, suffered a few seizures and lived in the NICU for close to a month. He was a full term baby, and I had a wonderful pregnancy. The whole labor and delivery thing wasn’t that bad, fortunately, thanks to a righteous epidural and an amazing doctor. Still, Mac had low levels of calcium and blood sugar that turned his infant life in a bit of a tailspin and really threw us as parents for a loop. Something we weren’t prepared for at all, but who is, really, when this kind of crisis happens. This is a memory that feels just like yesterday.
When I first shared Mac’s story here six years ago, Mac was progressing slowly. He made great strides, but slower than “normal.” However, something started clicking in his sweet brain in middle school, and now that he’s in high school, he’s like a sponge with learning, passionate about American history, enjoys writing stories, and has found a love for running. It’s his outlet, he says, though he’ll tell you he’s not a runner, but loves to run. I think that’s pretty astute, don’t you?! If we all could know ourselves in such a way, with no pressure of labeling our outlets.
He’s in a special program in high school, and is pushed out for a few main stream classes with one of those classes being wood working. He has an amazing teacher named Mr. Backus that has taken Mac under his wing, and has shown him a love of building things with wood. We’ve got quite the collection going on around here with all of the projects he’s brought home.
Recently, Mac told me he wanted to build me something for my garden. How about a bench, he said. I’d be honored.
I had these two iron bench sides that I found at my favorite salvage shop a while back. I cleaned them up, sprayed them with a new coat of paint, and dropped them off at school. Mac and Mr. Backus figured out how much wood I would need; type of wood, measurements, screws and all those details. I chose Ipe because it’s wicked strong wood and durable; rot and insect resistant. This bench was being built by two very special hands, and I want it to last for a very, very long time.
Each day, Mac would come home and share the progress of the garden bench build. Everything from sanding the wood, to drilling new holes, to screwing in the bolts. Monday, he texted me to tell me the bench was ready to be picked up.
We masked up, walked into the classroom workshop, and I had to fight back the tears. It was beautiful. The pride I felt knowing sweet Mac built this bench with his very own hands. Mr. Backus helped, yes, but Mac did a lot of work too.
The bench is sitting under perfect tree, where the shade garden will be planted. It’s situated so we can sit and admire the gardens and bird watch. It’s a quiet spot, perfect to get lost in thought.
I’m so proud of Mac and how far he’s come. He continues to grow, mature, and learn. He is empowered. For this, I am eternally grateful. To me, this bench is more than just a bench. I can’t even put it into words. I am so honored to be his mom, and we want to do everything we can to help Mac achieve his goals. He’s well on his way.
My sweet boy. Thank you so much for building me such a beautiful garden bench. It’s so special to me. I love your heart. And, I love you.