People say that time flies by quickly, especially when you have children and I can testify that that is true.
Today my first born son, my baby, turned 18.
I remember the first time I saw him and held him. I remember nursing him in a borrowed yellow rocking chair in my parents' back bedroom. I remember the smell of his freshly bathed head and the sound of his laugh.
As if it was yesterday.
Part of me wishes it was. It would mean he would have a completely fresh slate in front of him. A new start.
I suppose he has a new start, turning 18, becoming an adult. A birthday even signifies a new beginning. He needs it. He deserves it.
Today you turn 18. I know you said you do not feel any different, but this birthday is different. You are the same age today that I was when I gave birth to you. I was so young, yet I grew up so quickly as soon as you entered this world. You changed me forever and I know today will change you, too.
You have grown into a young man that still has many boyish charms, some that will help you be compassionate and carefree and some that you will have to let go of to be able to become the man who will have a career, marry a wife and raise a family.
You have started to smile again and believe in yourself. You are doing remarkable in school and at work. You are responsible and motivated to achieve your goals. You are very different than you were a year ago.
My heart broke when you climbed through your bedroom window, determined to make it on your own. You were so sure that you did not need me, did not need God and you were hell bent on making sure you never had to be a part of our family again.
You made it hard to want you to be part of our family when my heart hurt so much. But, I held to the promise that God gave me before you were born that you would be an amazing man one day. That He had grand plans for you. Even though I had to watch you destroy yourself and your life to find yourself again, I was able to do it, because I trusted God. He is so faithful. You are so very different than you were a year ago.
I know next year, you will have changed yet again and I will continue to be proud of you.
You will have your GED and completed your internship. You will have established yourself in a career and be on your way to being on your own.
I will remember the day I held you for the first time as an unsure 18 year old momma. I wasn't sure if you would nurse well, if you would sleep well, if you and I would be able to figure out this whole momma and boy thing together, but I was sure of one thing.
I would love you forever with an unconditional momma's love that sometimes has to hurt and sometimes has to let go, but always holds you close to my heart.