Momservation: There are two gifts we should give our children: One is roots. The other is wings.
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So this is how it’s going to be.
I changed your diapers. I fed you in the middle of the night. I soothed you when you cried. I read to you every night. I washed your stinky socks. I played endless games of Hide n Seek. I made you three meals a day. I helped you with your homework. I took you to every practice, went to every game. I never went to sleep until you were home. I always kissed or hugged you goodnight.
How dare you grow up?
When you became an adult last year at 18 it didn’t bother me because you were still home. You still loved hugs from your “Mommer.” You never went to bed without hugging me good night. I could see your fuzzy head every morning poking out from under the covers. You still brought your pack of friends over to play at our house. You still burst through the door when you got home looking for your dog or your sister or your mom or dad. You were a man with your giant body and beard, but I was still happily taking care of you under my roof.
Why did it have to change?
We were so happy. We played together. We laughed together. We ate dinner around the table together. We took family trips. We had game nights and movie nights. We cheered you on. We had backyard parties and BBQs. We made cookies together. We went on adventures together. We made dumb jokes and we sang and we drank Slurpees. We spent every day together; weekends; holidays.
…Your birthday. We have spent every birthday together.
Except this one.
Now you’re gone and I have no one to make a homemade yellow cake with chocolate frosting for. Dad has no one to wake up early for to go get a dozen birthday donuts. Your sister has no one to say to her, “Thanks Buckwheat” or “Jerry” or “Cheesehead” or “Wendy” or whatever you’re calling her that month when she gives you the perfect funny/silly card because you get her humor. Darby, your favorite “pupper,” has no birthday song to bark for right on cue. The grandparents have no favorite birthday dinner to come over for.
I get that it was time to leave. You had done all the growing you were going to do at home. College awaited you, promising to make your life even better. And it has. I’ve never seen you happier. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for you—to be happy. That’s all I ever wanted for us—a love that would give you wings to fly.
So, here it is: Your first birthday without me, the one who brought you into this world. Your first birthday where I’ll have to settle for the sound of your voice over wrapping you in my arms, amazed at how big you’re getting, wondering how I’m ever going to let you go.
Happy 19th birthday, baby boy. Continue to soar. I’ll get used to this empty nest feathered with the warm, wonderful memories of raising you. Just make sure to fly home every now and again to give your ol’ Mommer a peck.
#GrownAndFlown #FirstBirthdayWithoutYou #AlwaysBeMyBabyBoy