Friday, February 17, 2017

Birthday Boy

JT turns 17 today.  When he was first born, a friend told me, “the days are long, but the years are fast.”  At the time, I wasn’t sure what she meant.  But today, it’s abundantly clear.  On Monday night, as he sat at the table making a Valentine for his sweetheart, he reflected that he’s changed a lot this year.  These sorts of conversations, with a son who is self-aware and thoughtful, are the rewards of being the mama of a teenager.

It makes up for the piles of laundry, the occasional bad moods, and the messy bedroom.

This past year has seen JT challenge himself both athletically and academically.  It’s given me the satisfaction of hearing my son say that he enjoyed writing a History paper.  I’v cheered him across finish lines, both real and figurative.  The past year has shown me how well he knows himself, a happy development.

A few weeks ago, I had the same dream a few nights in a row.  In the dream, I was looking after a friend’s baby, bringing the baby outside to return him to his family.  In my dream, the baby was familiar and lovely with dark hair and even darker eyes.  I handed him over to his family and then woke up to realize that the familiar baby was my baby; JT as an infant.  It doesn’t take Freud to interpret the thoughts of my subconscious.  I’ve known for a while now that I’m getting ready to send my bird from his nest and into the world to make his own way.

If I’m being honest, I’m not sure that I am ready for him to leave the nest.  But with each day that passes, I can see that step-by-step, he’s closer to launch.  I am as proud of him as I can be.  Happy Birthday, sweet boy!

1 comment:

Lillesol Kane said...

I know these bittersweet sentiments all too well. Nat & Olimpia are both off in college now (Tulane & Wash U. I joke they can float up the Mississippi River Huck Finn-style to visit each other!) Those days when we'd collect our kids from the RPS Lower School seem so recent! It is a very strange feeling indeed to be lost in the arms of my fully-grown son when he hugs me. Who is this man? There was a time when I would just scoop him up into mine! But, it does have its pleasures. Mostly, just knowing you've raised a wonderful, compassionate person who gets your sense of humor. And believe it or not -- and while I can certainly wait more than a few years -- I'm already looking forward to the experience of grand parenting, which has got to be awesome!