You see, eighteen is just too much, by my count. Eighteen is not allowed. Eighteen is responsibility and adulthood and the ability to get a tattoo without my permission. Eighteen is the need for making one’s own decisions, and branching out, and preparing to leave home and being on one’s own. Eighteen is too much for this mama to handle.
Eighteen years ago, The Boy did the most AMAZING thing – he made me a mother. After 28.5 hours of labor, an epidural and a c-section, they placed this wee little 7lb 6.5oz man in my arms, and said he was mine. He had reddish hair, a scream to wake the world, and little wrinkly toes and a cute button nose. I was 22, terrified and enthralled all at once. And I fell instantly in love.
Little did I know how much he would change me, change who I was into who I am today. I remember his first steps – that came before he crawled, because he preferred to roll around on Papa and Nana’s floor to get where he wanted to go. His first teeth, his first plate of spaghetti, his first chocolate bar, his first birthday, his first ride in car, his first pair of boxing gloves, his first friends, his first days at school – all the way to his first dance, his first time behind the wheel, his first job, his first girl, first heartache… Each of them were MY firsts too – the first time I discovered them through a Mama’s eyes, and knew the little tug of pride and heartache each bit of growing up caused.
He’s grown up into an amazing young man. He’s kind, he’s faithful, he’s strong, and strong willed, and even more important, strong of heart. He loves and protects his sisters, he is an amazing friend, he loves unconditionally, gives happily and understands the power of forgiveness and understanding. He’s still exploring, learning, striving. He isn’t quite sure what he wants to be doing with the rest of his life, yet and that’s perfectly ok, because what he’s doing RIGHT NOW, is the best thing ever – he’s being himself… something he and I have learned to do and be together.
He’s my son.
And today? He’s 18, and officially a man.
And he chose to let me start it with a hug, immortalized.
Happy Birthday, baby boy. I am so proud of you.
all my love,