Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I am more than one month late in acknowledging your birthday on this blog. I guess it is very similar to the chaos that surrounded your arrival 13 years ago. Your birth completely blindsided dad and me, as we had two months left until your due date. You were impatient and ready to enter this world, regardless of our preparedness. Just as we couldn’t stop your entrance into this world, so can’t we stop the passage of the 13 years since.
I know I write about the passage of time often, and you’d think that by now I’d finally get the fact that life isn’t slowing down, but rather just speeding up. I feel like I’m watching my life as a movie and someone just hit the fast-forward button. The picture has started to blur and I’m frantically trying to find my bearings within a spinning kaleidoscope. Certainly, the chaos that consumes our lives ebbs and flows, it just seems that we are in one of those times when the universe converges and everything is happening at once and demands our attention NOW. And yet, there you two are to give me momentary pause, reminding me to slow down and take notice of the here and now. I have only these brief moments because your lives are becoming your own now. You are starting that important part of your developmental journey where you break away from the shores that we’ve kept you tethered to, and you are beginning to sail on your own. What profound feelings of sadness and pride and belief and trepidation and wonder. Really, it comes down to that: wonder. That in 13 short years you’ve grown from helpless loaves of love to these chiseled young men. Somewhere in between feedings and having your nose wiped, you developed a sense of humor, values, opinions, musings and certainties.
I suppose that because your maturation happens slowly it is harder to notice. You becoming you is just part of the blurry background. It is when I pause and breathe deeply and listen intently that I notice who you are becoming. While you’ve both always been very independent, your independence now takes on a whole new dimension. It is not just about being capable, but being competent and confident. I realize, of course, that we still have a number of years left before you are really ready to make it on your own, but I see the sensitive, intelligent, compassionate, empathic, talented parts of your selves take shape and I know that you are well on your way to becoming adults that will make this world proud.
Of course, there is still plenty of time for some total bone-headed decisions. I guess that is what adolescence is about as well, making some really foolish choices so that you have time to learn and hopefully recover from your mistakes. If I think back to my own adolescence I shudder. I was opinionated, stubborn, independent, sassy and a royal pain in the ass, I’m sure. So as we have those “moments” with you, I just have to take a deep breath and remember that this is a phase just like all the others and that the ultimate goal is to deliver you to adulthood with enough battle scars to give you confidence to navigate the topography of life on your own while still remembering that we will always have your back.
I am so thankful that the outcome of your premature birth was healthy and that we were given the pleasure of knowing you, holding you, and loving you two months earlier than we originally anticipated. Happy 13th birthdays my loves.