When you were born, I didn’t know that you would be one of the 5% of people on this planet who don’t like macaroni and cheese. When you were born, I didn’t even grasp or understand how much the very discussion of, act of, and refusal of poop would rule my life for YEARS. I didn’t know when you were born that unless your socks line up EXACTLY the way you need them to, the world might end. I didn’t know that I would experience things like You Will Give Me 5 Grapes At Bedtime Or I Will Refuse To Go To Bed for 4 months straight. I didn’t know that every night for many years, I would have to sing ‘Baby Mine’ to you and I didn’t know how much I would miss singing it once it was no longer requested. When you were born, I didn’t know that when you ask me what time it is, you mean what time is it EXACTLY and 1:15 is not an acceptable answer when it is, in fact, 1:13.
When you were born, I couldn’t even begin to understand how my heart would stretch and grow as I watched you love your Baby Sister. When you were born, I didn’t know how painful it would be to watch you get swallowed up on the soccer field, only to later watch your confidence grow and grow until YOU became the one everyone was watching. I didn’t know you were going to be so stinking smart, which is wonderful because I still don’t know how to do your math. I didn’t know that one day, the little boy who refused to let go of me on his first day of Kindergarten would ever one day walk off with just a quick hug and run to catch up with his buddies. I could have never known that the tiny baby I held in my arms would grow to be such an earnest, kind-hearted boy who's sense of right and wrong so pronounced. When you were born, I could have never possibly known the ups, the downs, the confusion, the self doubt, the battle cries, the failures, the triumphs that come with Motherhood.
Because all I knew when you were born was…love. All I knew when I heard you cry for the first time was that Life. Was. Different. Forever. All I knew when you were born was that I wanted to protect you from anyone who would ever dare to be anything other than kind to you. Because you are my Son. I am your Mother. All I know is to be your fiercest protector, your greatest fan, your toughest critic. To try and hold you to the standards that allow you to become a Man one day who treats children and animals with kindness; who has respect for his elders, who is generous with his love and admiration to his partner, who calls his mother every week and makes his bed every day. A Man who believes he is better than no one and puts his head on his pillow each night knowing he did his best that day. And some days, that won’t be the truth. Some days you will fail. Some days you will be short tempered. Some days you will be the worst version of yourself. You will have no patience and you will feel frustrated and you will put your head on your pillow that night and ask for forgiveness and promise to try harder tomorrow. (These days are called Parenthood.) When you were born, I was reborn. And each day with you, no matter how hard and trying they can sometimes be, is a gift. The greatest one I’ve ever been given.
So…Baby Mine, don’t you cry.
Baby Mine, dry your eyes.
Rest your head
Close to my heart,
Never to part
Baby of mine.
Happy Birthday, Son. I love you more than my written words or lovely song lyrics could ever express. But I will keep on trying.