I don't write about this guy often. I don't see him often. But he is my son and he is celebrating his 26th Birthday! This is a note I wrote him for the occasion.
The lady who raised you?
I may not be the woman who gave birth to you, but I chose to be your mother.
I’m the woman who gave you your 5th birthday party at Chuck E. Cheeses after which, I vowed never to go back there, but of course, I did.
I’m the lady who dried your tears when you cried at my wedding to your father because you were “hungry” or was it because you needed some of the attention?
Maybe it was because you were gaining a wicked stepmother?
I am the woman who kissed you and your teddy bear goodnight.
I am the lady who hosted the sleepovers and playdates with your friends.
I am the nurse who took care of you when you were sick, took you to your your doctor's appointments when you broke your arm and when your asthma was flaring.
I attended those parent/teacher conferences, where the teachers all raved about what I fine young man I have raised.
Yep. You were always a charmer, with a beautiful smile.
I am the one who taxied you to your football practices…until you could drive yourself.
I attended your games and talent shows.
You remember those talent shows where you tried to sing and dance, but really, it was so you could charm the ladies?
I'm that lady who watched you go through your first love and first heartbreak.
I’m the person who always went to battle for you when your father would just say, “No!”
Sadly, at this moment in your life, you don’t have very much time for them. It’s unfortunate because they have autism, and difficulty with social relationships. They are growing into young men who could really use a mentor. Since your father was such a good one to you, I always thought you would be to them. Maybe, someday you will.
On your 26th birthday, you are not at home, though we probably wouldn’t see you anyway.
Instead you are off serving your country in the Army National Guard. I pray that you are safe and well.
I pray that when you come home, you will once again remember this lady who sacrificed to raise you to be a great man, like your father.
I hope to live to see the day, when you not only live up to the man that your father is, but that you actually surpass him in success.
By success, I don’t mean the riches of the world or material things. I mean becoming a man who is honorable, who lives to help others, who loves his future family, takes care of himself and even better care of them. I can’t wait to see you become someone who your younger brothers can aspire to be.
I’m waiting…I haven’t given up.