Today my first baby turns 13. I can’t hardly believe it. When he was born I had a new purpose to who I was. Life was no longer just about me and everything to do with this new little life that was all mine. A piece of my husband and I right there, living and breathing. He has grown into his 13 years, yet unless I look back at pictures I don’t see the changes. But yesterday while we were cooped up inside I photographed him and saw what everyone else sees every day. A teenager.
So today we celebrate everything teenager. Everything that makes him who he is. Raising him has and continues to be so scary. He being the first you just never know. Is he going to be ok? Does he know what his values are? Does he know the right answers in life? I said to my husband last night the worries we have are so raw because we work on overdrive so that he doesn’t have to feel the struggles with friends, school and overall teenage life that we did but no matter how hard we work he still does. He continues to teach us that he is his own person and he will make the right decision most of the time. And when he doesn’t he will figure it out.
The responsibilities of the oldest child are held at another level. I know because I too was the oldest. They tend to be more mature and always thinking about what is next. Instead of enjoying the ride it feels more like a race. A race to independence because so much responsibility is placed on them right out of the gates. The parenting thing comes with no instructions and we push them and ourselves to get it right instead of letting them get it right at their own pace.
Today I want that boy of mine to know how proud I am of him. All the pressure and responsibility I put on him is my own insecurities about this job that I am learning as he is growing. I savor the time we have left with him at home. I know that it will come to a close sooner then I would like.
13 years from now he will be 26. He could possibly be married and expecting his own first born just as his father and I were 13 years ago. Time never stands still and as much as it breaks my heart to loose days and years I know the future is bright for him and he will find his way on what ever path he finds himself on.
Liam – Happy Birthday. I love you more then you will ever know. Take that with you and live big, dream even bigger and use that beautiful ability you inherited from your father to continue to really care about people. Make others around you feel important because that will make you feel important. Speak up and love yourself. That is secret to happiness and something the rest of us learned so much later in life. You have everything you need to be successful in what ever you want to be successful in. Take that and change the world.
I love you – Mom