The day Travis made his entrance into the world is forever etched in my mind. How could I forget a day that it actually snowed in Las Vegas and resulted in the birth of this amazing child. As soon as my labor pains were at regular intervals, Jared and I left the three boys with Grandma Skousen and headed to Sunrise Hospital (or at least that was my plan). Jared was determined to find a store open (it was 8:00am) where he could buy an 8mm tape for our video camera. After driving to the third store I began to get a little cranky and insisted he get me to the hospital and get me there quick. Needless to say, he complied! Two nice pushes later and viola... we were the proud parents of our 4th boy. It was a beautiful, easy-going beginning for this beautiful, easy-going child.
Prior to Travis' birth, I had received so many well meaning comments about how others hoped this baby would be a girl. I honestly can say that having another boy was exactly what I wanted! I was thrilled and honored to be a mom of four sons...and still am!
Travis' birth awakened strong feelings of responsibility and value in what I was doing as a mother. During the first few months of his life we spent what I consider very precious, sacred time together. He would wake up around midnight to be fed and I would just be finishing up the house work, doing the laundry and other chores that would pile up during the day. Travis would stay awake until around 2:30am and so would I. It was quiet, clean and so peaceful. I would just hold him for those two and a half hours and be lost in my thoughts of gratitude and love for this little boy. It was at this time I composed the words and music to my one and only song, "My Child". My heart was so full of love for him and this song was an expression of that love.
Travis was a boy of few words, but his eyes spoke volumes. He would find something amusing and I would "see his laughter" long before I heard it. His mouth would start to form a sweet little grin and then his eyes would twinkle into half moons. His face was so expressive. I still can clearly recall the image of that sweet, angelic face beaming love at whoever was there to witness it. And I absolutely adore seeing that same expressive face today! One can not help but fall in love with Travis when he starts that little grin and his eyes twinkle into moon beams. SO DARLING!!
Travis had a valiant spirit right from the beginning He wasn't combative, mean, or naughty. He was just a steady, good son. I have always likened him to Alma's son Shiblon, "I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God..."I remember being so proud to be the mom of Travis because he was "the standard" among his friends. The other parents loved his influence on their children. He wasn't showy or on display; just steady, even, faithful Trav.
It has been a joy to see that easy-going boy grow into a self-assured, easy-going but complex man. I am amazed at the depth of his intellect. I love that he is a reader, thinker, philosopher, student, and teacher. I love how he embraces the scriptures and the doctrines of the gospel and seeks not just learning, but also wisdom. Last July, Travis and I spent some time together in Rexburg, Id. This was a sweet "tender mercy" for me as I felt I had not really had an opportunity to spend alone time with him since he returned from his mission. We talked about the kind of girl he hoped to marry. He shared "short-comings" he recognized in himself and what he was doing to overcome them. He talked about who he hoped to become and his goals for his future. It was a mother/son conversation but on an adult spirit to spirit level. Such a sweet experience, and just like the early morning hours when Travis was a baby, on this particular night in Rexburg, I was overcome with feelings of gratitude and love for this amazing son of mine.
I understand the joy that Alma had in Shiblon. I too have joy in Travis. I have joy in his desire to achieve great things and set high goals for himself. I have joy in that has lived through some difficult situations and overcome some difficult things. I have joy in that he has proved himself a valiant, worthy priesthood holder. I have joy in calling him my son.
Today, as I contemplate your birth and your life, with a full heart I say: "Happy Birthday dear Travis. I am so proud to be your mom. I love you." Mommy.