Today was a milestone for you. Go ahead and roll your eyes, but it’s true. You are officially a middle school graduate and by this fall, you’ll be a high school freshman. I’m not sure how this is possible as, in my mind, I’m still having to diaper your behind and I’m still relatively hot and in my twenties. But time marches on and all that.
As my son, I’ve always thought you were awesome. Naturally, you elevate your awesomeness to epic proportions, as is your right. After all, you are half mine 😉 At 5’9″, I no longer have to stoop to get a hug and ‘smoochie’ or to wag my finger in admonishment. And where did the little heinie that fit in my palm go? Now it’s For Pete’s sake woman, don’t touch me in public! I like to hug and kiss you in public mostly for the freak-out factor on your part, but you know, I’m fairly fond of you as well.
Someone recently said a person can’t be proud of someone else’s accomplishments because to do so robs the one doing the accomplishing of the ownership of their own deeds. As a parent, I’m not really sure how I feel about that. Actually, that isn’t true. I think it’s crap. You know your mama…plain-spoken, no bull, well-intentioned.
From your earliest moments, I spoke to you like you knew exactly what my words meant…no ooey-gooey baby talk. That I’ve reserved for the dog who does that funny head tilt thingy as if to say Human, thou art a nincompoop. You always managed to look at me like I had all the answers; now, of course, I get the huff and eyeball roll as an accompaniment. I take your silence as an affirmation of my intelligence, but don’t think I don’t hear the grumbling. I’m not deaf yet 😉 I have made you promises, which has been a life lesson in itself. I’ve kept most of them. I try. Just don’t marry a Bruins fan or I can’t promise to love whomever you marry. Just kidding. Actually, no, sorry, I’d be lying. And don’t pick a Penguins fan, either.
I’m proud not only of what you’ve accomplished, but also what you’ve taught me about being true to yourself and letting it all hang out (but please, please pull up your pants…no one wants to see your underpants) regardless of what others may think, about failing and trying again and again and succeeding because of the blessings God’s given you and not the mouthing of the naysayers. Perseverance is a fourteen year old man-boy with a peach-fuzzed upper lip and dreams of military service. Although the thought of my baby armed and in charge gives me pause. Oh, boy!
In the past four years, you have amazed, befuddled, frustrated, angered and floored me. I’m sure the feeling is mutual. You’ve given me indigestion, stretch marks and a bladder that can’t make it from the house to the quilt shop across town. You’ve also touched my heart and made me proud with your love and compassion for others (Little Sister somewhat presently excluded) and your empathy for those most people simply overlook as irrelevant or unworthy.
Who knows what the next four years of school will bring. I have to look at the future in tidbits because to see it stretch out over the horizon is simply too much. I’m pretty sure I’ll be writing another of these letters then, provided I don’t trip over all that crap on your bedroom floor and smash my head on the way down. Oh, did I say ‘crap’…I meant treasures. I, too, treasure the way those little plastic interlocking blocks so easily make their way into my vacuum cleaner’s bag and the rat-a-tat-tat sound they make on their way in. And you thought I didn’t like Legos!
You, my boy, were once my little acorn. I can see the oak you’ll become and it is spectacular. Keep your eyes on God and your feet on His path. He has plans for you beyond any and all earthly expectations.
Love you to the moon and back,