Every day of the past 18 years with my teen has been a gift. Most days that is a good thing. Some days it is a gag gift or the gift I really wish I could return. But mostly a fabulous present and a fabulous presence in my life.
I have told him that he will always be my baby, no matter how old he is. He hates that. I have also told him over and over how much I love him. I may have made a lot of parenting mistakes over the years, but I think I got this one piece down… assurances of my unconditional love.
Growing up happens so fast! When did he put away his tricycle and start driving? Where did his strong opinions about everything come from? Who is that young man with a prom date on his arm? He used to be a shy child who would not do anything new unless he had a friend along with him. Now he has stepped out of his comfort zone and tried new things and put himself out there. I am proud of him for wanting to spread his wings next year by attending a college far from home. Much as I will miss him, it will be good for both of us:)
He is a great kid, in my totally biased maternal opinion, who is becoming a charming young man. Smart, affectionate, funny. He is very social and spends a lot of time hanging out with his friends. He is the kind of student that teachers tell us they are happy to have in class. He has a beautiful smile and a warm personality (when not in the midst of a teenage moment). And he likes to watch cooking competitions on TV with me:)
Teen years are supposed to be a challenge. Yes, there are moments. I have learned not to try to talk to my son in the mornings when he is over-tired and rushing to get out the door. I ignore the look that says “Mom, I am so much smarter than you.” I have gotten over the fact that in his eyes I am utterly embarrassing and I only hope that someday he will realize how hard I tried NOT to embarrass him. But I have to say that we have so far sailed through with no major problems. Knock on wood.
Every so often I look at my son and see myself. Either in his smaller version of my nose. (Lucky him.) Or when he laughs at something silly. But mostly, he is a Daddy’s boy, watching and talking sports, procrastinating, cluttering.
Easily, being a mom has been what I consider my greatest accomplishment. I look at my son and I feel a sense of wonderment. I know that he is his own person. And he got to where is is despite me as much as he did because of me. I wish him a lifetime of happiness and love and laughter and hope that I have the privilege to always be part of it.
Now I feel really old! But not because of my son’s birthday. Which is a bit of a surprise because when my eldest son reached this milestone it made me feel ancient! But because when I came up with this post title, I was singing the old Queen song in my head. Little did I know that it is now the title of an Usher song! I am really dating myself. Sigh.