Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Letter to My Son on the Occasion of His 18th Birthday

*Images were taken by Dawn Bayer

My Dearest Son,

How does a mother express the amazement of watching her first born grow over the course of 18 years into a young man the caliber of which I could never have even dared dream?  I wish I were a poet and could capture with words the pride and joy that you have brought me all these years.  I remember holding you that first day 18 years ago and thinking about what type of person you would grow into and finding that I could not even imagine you past kindergarten.  It seemed as if it would be a lifetime before I would have to consider our relationship as two adults rather than a mother and child.  And yet, here I am, seemingly overnight, considering this on your 18th birthday.  It truly is mind blowing.

Your birthdays have always been a special occasion, however, this one is hitting me in a way that I did not expect.  I am rather emotional today as I realize that you are now considered, in the eyes of the law, an adult and that soon you will be spreading your wings and soaring in your own independent life, not needing me in the same capacity as your mom.  How do I let go after all these years of holding you so close, guiding you, and protecting you from the world?  I don't have that answer just yet and I will ask for your grace and patience as I figure out how to push you into the world and yet still steer you through life's rough patches.

Dad, all three of your siblings, your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and I are so very proud of you. You have a sensitive, caring heart paired with a good sense of right and wrong which will take you far in this world.  You are smart, you have a good work ethic, and you strive for responsibility and independence.  What amazing qualities to have in a son, brother, grandson, and nephew.  You've made it through some tough teen years making sound life decisions aided by your strong sense of self.  I know you will continue your journey confidently, making you a successful, loving man who has a lot to share with the world.

I am excited to watch your journey and to continue to cheer you on, support your dreams, and love you as only a parent can.  Happy Birthday, Son.  You and your brother and sisters are my greatest gift, my ultimate prize, my heart.  I love you dearly...have a wonderful birthday!


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