Last night, sometime in that flash of an instant between midnight and 12:01, my firstborn turned 11. (He doesn't really have a birthday this year since he was born on Leap Day.) His birthday is also a birthday of sorts for me. It marks the day I became a mother and my whole world changed. In that magical moment that he slipped from my body and into this world, both of our lives changed.
Through all of the sleepless nights I paced circles in the living
room floor, through years of nursing, sharing sleep, thousands of diaper
changes, skinned knees, hurt feelings, major surgery to remove a
swallowed battery, and many reminders to tie his shoes and take out the
trash, he has evolved into a young person I am rather proud of. He is a
sensitive, caring, empathetic human being. What more could a mother
ask for? This is the child that carried his younger sister through the
homeschool tour of the grocery store yesterday. Holding her hand
because she was frightened to go into the ice cream freezer; The child
that decided not to eat meat for his special birthday dinner, because he
felt bad for the animals; the child that reminds me not to waste gas.
When we walk through the woods, he talks to trees, placing his palms on
their trunks to feel their thrum. He loves the stars and stares at the
moon. He paints pictures of dragons and fairies. He swims fearlessly
in the ocean and digs holes in the dirt. He climbs trees and plays with
worms. He spent his birthday money on a new bike and a CD of Celtic
music (How many 11 year-olds even like Celtic music?).
He is awesome and I love him more deeply than I would have guessed I
could. I am a better person for knowing him. He stretches me and
reminds me to slow down. He shows me the beauty in everyday things. He
makes me think and challenges me to think differently. He makes me
want to change the world, but at the same time makes me content to stay
at home and do nothing. He is my son. I couldn't have asked for one