My baby is sixteen today. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun or maybe it flies when you are busy worrying about how much you’ve messed up your kids’ lives. I’m not really sure. I just know that it seems like yesterday I was walking in to the OB/GYN office begging her to break my water because I was sick of being pregnant, I had been having contractions all weekend, and if I went into labor that day, all my kids birthdays would be 2 months and 10 days apart. She was barely older than me. Maybe she felt bad. Maybe she was easily persuaded. Maybe I’m just really persuasive. I don’t know. All I do know is that she broke my water at my 10:30 appointment and I was pushing a baby out by noon, just as scared as I was the first time.
I remember when I brought him home. I was living in a tiny two bedroom apartment with my two older kids. They were 8 and 7. And it was just starting to get cold. I could stand on my front steps and see the house where his dad was living…. with the woman he had cheated on me with. For a brief second, I thought my heart would stop. It was quickly replaced with plans to blow up the car that I had bought, that he was driving, with a small concoction of Drano crystals and gasoline. He’s still alive. Although, years later, I still regret not following through on that one.
Not that it would have mattered. His dad has had nothing to do with him since he was born. The door has always been open for him to be in his son’s life. He has just never taken the opportunity to walk through it.
Which is quite a shame because he’s really missing out. I used to feel bad for Mel having to be raised without a father figure in his life. But now, I feel bad for his dad, because he will never know what an amazing kid his son is.
It’s always around my kids’ birthdays that I stop for a moment to give myself the tiniest bit of credit for raising such amazing people. I can’t take all the credit for this little one though. His brother and sister had a lot to do with the person he is today. And he is awesome.
He’s the kind of kid other parent’s want their kids to be around. He’s smart. Not just book smart, but he’s street smart too. And he has a ton of common sense. And a great sense of humor. He’s athletic and handsome, which I think is pretty much genetic, and maybe I can give his other side of the family some credit for that, but not much. He’s honest. He’s thoughtful. He’s polite. He says thank you to me every single time I feed him. It doesn’t matter if I cooked it or if I picked it up on the way home, he always thanks me like it’s not my job to make sure he has food. He sticks up for people when they can’t or won’t defend themselves. He looks out for his friends when he sees they are in need. He took all his money once and paid for a haircut for him and three of his friends because he was getting his hair cut and they didn’t have any money and needed haircuts too. He does things and never expects anything in return. I’m sure that’s one of the things he gotten from me.
I joke all the time about telling him how much longer he has before he gets to move out. As of today, he has exactly 2 years left. People think I’m awful because I’m not sad or trying to keep my kids at home held tight to my bosom. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss him when he finally goes. I will. I miss him when he goes to his girlfriend’s for more than 2 hours. But I know he will be fine. Just like my other two kids. He will thrive. He will be successful. I know he will call me. We will talk regularly like I talk to my other two. And I know he will be OK.
Hell, he barely needs me now. And as soon as he gets his license, he will need me even less. And I’m OK with that. The one thing that has always stressed me out while I’ve been raising kids was the thought that I would die before they were old enough to take care of themselves or while they were too young to remember me. I think I can officially say that is no longer my fear. Not that I want to die tomorrow. I’m actually planning on staying alive until I’m 80ish and then probably throwing myself off the side of a cruise ship. But that’s a blog for another day.
I’m just so happy that on this day of his 16th birthday, I can honestly say that I am proud of the person he has become. I can say he is truly a gift to this world, not just because he’s my son, but because he’s a decent human being and the world really is a better place just because he’s in it.