Today you vare 15 years old. You're so proud of yourself for growing up. You love telling people you are bigger than mama, that your shoes are size 46. You love having control over your own wallet with all your special documents tucked inside...your Buzzy Pass, your ID card, your insurance card. You love growing up to be a man.
Mama, well, mama isn't so sure. When I hug you tight you squeeze me, when I look at you I have to raise my eyes, and when we go to the doctor you can now check in yourself. Where did my job go? But okay, mama is proud of you too. Very, very proud. You never cease to amaze me with what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. What amazes me most of all is the care you give to little children and babies. The interest you take in them and the love that pours from your heart as you give them your attention. Every time I see you interact with little people, my heart swells a thousand times as I know that this is your value system; giving, caring, loving. So my job, though never complete, has been one filled with success. I helped to get you to the place you are today. And today, you are a 15 year old young man with much to offer the world.
I have missed having you home today. On your birthday, having you living away from home has been hard for mama. I didn't get to wake up to find you here and share my birthday wishes with you. All day I have wandered from room to room missing a little piece of myself. This is the first time I haven't been with you on your birthday. Tonight, as we head to your new home away from home to bring you a much needed birthday hug, I will again feel complete. And yet, I knwo how very happy you are in your new home, how relaxed you feel and how content you are. And though I miss you here, I am happy you have finally found your special place in this world that brings you all that you need. I am happy you have true friends to share your secrets with, people that can help you to make the most of the responsibilities in your life. I am so very proud to know that my son has been given the chance to be at peace, and taken that opportunity and run with it; that you have discovered happiness.
This growing up stuff is hard for mama. Today I think back to our previous life, when you were just a little guy and we slept together in mama's single bed, when you still nursed and still cuddled me tight in need. I think about our drives to daycare and the awaiting hug I would receive upon picking you up. I think about walking up to the playground to push you on the swings, and the time you were so bundled up from the cold to play in the snow that you couldn't even move your arms or legs, and how we laughed and laughed. I think about our trips to visit gramma and grampa and all the goodies we stocked up on to bring with us for our ride. I think about all the songs we sang together, the unimaginable number of times we watched Barney. I think about all the months we spent in the hospital, nursing you through another bout of sickness, the near-death experiences we overcame. I think about all of this, and know that it brought us to today, this day when I can be nothing but proud of who you have become.
Kaeden, today is your birthday. Today you become 15. Today I wish you what every mother wishes for her child: peace, hope, love, and happiness. A year full of the best experiences and growth (just not TOO much more!). A year to see your eyes shine as you tell me once again: Mama, look, I'm taller than you! haha
Happy Birthday to my forever mine not-s0-little boy! I love you!