My love for my children is divided equally.
One is not more loved than the other, but they each possess unique traits that make them special to me.
G is special because she is the daughter I never thought I would have. When she came into our lives, she brought a fresh, new joy to our family that was much needed.
The Middle Child is special because he was the brother we always wanted our first son to have. And he came into this world with Personality and character. He was a Momma’s Boy from the very start. To this day, I think of the way he would squish my face with his chubby little hands and say “I just yuv you SO MUCH Mommy. Your SO booful, Mommy.” when he was just a little guy and it my heart will expand 10 sizes.
The Teenager. (Let’s see if I can get through this one without doing The Ugly Cry.) That boys is special to me for many reasons, but mostly, because he is the baby that made me a mother. I was only 22 years old when he came into my life exactly 16 years ago today.
Being his mother has never felt difficult. As a baby, he was easy in every sense. And 16 years later, that is still very true. Sure, things have become a bit more complicated now that he’s a teenager. He’s NOT perfect. However, my son has a good heart and a desire to do the right thing.
Man, I miss those days.
I’m a lucky Mom in that way.
I am going to end this by re-posting a portion of what I wrote on his 13th birthday. Because 3 years later, the emotions I expressed in that post still hold true.

I had a son.
A perfect, soft, scrunchy faced, precious little boy.
I’ll never forget how perfect he was the first time I layed my bloodshot, tired eyes on him. He had all of his fingers. All of his toes. Scrunched up little eyes, eyebrows shaped just like his daddy’s, a nose just like his grandpa’s. Fuzzy, black hair and full, perfectly shaped lips.
The first time I held him in my arms, I felt my heart explode into a million little pieces and I knew in an instant that it no longer belonged to me. That little boy in my arms was now the Owner of My Heart.
I can’t describe the pride I felt as I stared at his sweet little face. I can’t describe the love I felt as I kissed his fuzzy little head. I can’t describe the joy I felt as he wrapped his precious little hand around my finger. There are no words to describe it.
Amazing. Awesome. Incredible. Exciting. Beautiful. Astounding. Breathtaking. Miraculous. Marvelous.
Those are powerful words, and yet, they don’t even BEGIN to accurately describe what I felt in my soul on the day my son was born.
My son.
Nor or there any words that could accurately describe what I feel inside of my soul today. The day that beautiful little baby turns thirteen.
I’m happy. I’m sad. I’m excited. I’m sad. I’m overjoyed. I’m sad. I’m proud. I’m sad.
Bittersweet That’s the only way to describe what I’m feeling.
Last night, we had the Greatest Dinner Conversation Ever.
Shrinkage. Sweaty balls. (And what one must do to unstick that sweaty ball from ones leg.) How to release poops that are stuck.
We all laughed so hard we cried.
At one point, Andrew was taking a drink and as Ethan got up to demonstrate how HE deals with Sweaty Balls, Andrew spit his drink out and started choking from laughing so hard.
It was in that moment it hit me that my son is a teenager. And at that point, the tears from laughter turned into tears of sadness, because I don’t know if I can handle him growing so quickly.
First. The Hairy balls. Then, the Fuzzstache. NOW THE TEENAGE YEARS.
Girls. Dates. Dances. Getting jobs. Driving.
Time is moving incredibly fast and my heart hasn’t had a chance to catch up to speed.
That sweet smelling, soft, calm, perfect little baby is now a teenager who has an incredible sense of humor, who is witty, kind, respectful and thoughtful of others.
And as I watch him become a young man, I feel just as much pride as I did the first time I held him in my arms. I’m so damn proud of the incredible human being he’s become in the thirteen years of his life.
My God, I’m so proud of him.
And yet, at the same time, I wish I could shrink him back into that little baby boy who cooed, and cried, and sucked on his little fingers and wanted nothing more than to be cuddled safely in his mommy’s arms. Because as much as I love the person he has become, as much as I enjoy his company, as much as I enjoy every day with this amazing young man, my heart aches because I can no longer hold him in my arms and kiss him all over the way I did when he was just my little baby boy.
What he looked like the morning of his 16th birthday
I have a tradition of taking a picture of my children first thing in the morning on their birthdays. I want them to be able to look back and remember that morning and the way they looked at that age. This is what My First Baby looked like the day he turned 16.
Sixteen. Sigh.

28 thoughts on “16

  1. Lisa

    Wow. Vary well said. My oldest is almost 3… I struggle- but I have NO IDEA how woderful and horrible it will fell when she is 16.
    Happy 16th anniversary of becoming a mom!

  2. Y

    Thank you for the kind words. His 16th birthday was a huge deal to me and it was so nice to read these comments.

  3. Gabby

    Happy Birthday to the TEENAGER.
    I have an 11 year old myself and I can already see the changes that are about to come. Oh God please help me!!!
    You made me cry with this post.

  4. Di

    Aw, happy day. I love the first thing in the birthday morning tradition that you have. Nothing is cuter that Smooshy Morning Face.

  5. Andrea

    you are such an amazing mother- I love reading about the love you have for your 3 beautiful children, and hope that one day I will feel that for children of my own

  6. Katie

    Hi! That is just the sweetest post, it made me tear up. I don’t have children but I do have a younger brother that I feel similarly about–my god, you were just a baby! Turn back! Ungrow! (Plus, he’s now got a semi-serious girlfriend, and THAT is just a kick in the pants when your baby brother starts dating. Gah.) Anyhoo, I love your blog and happy birthday to your son!

  7. girlplease

    A year ago I wouldn’t have understood.
    Today holding Aidan, I understand completely.
    I love him so much it’s painful. I can’t picture him at 16. I want him to be a baby forever–needing me.

  8. shelly

    Hi. My first time here. I think your blogs awesome and I’d like to add it to my list [is this a dumb thing to ask? have no idea on “blog etiquete” have just entered this world! lol] I think taking photo’s of your kids on the morning of their b’days is a wonderful idea..wish I’d thought of it…

  9. dana michelle

    I always love your annual birthday tributes to your kids. You have such a great relationship with them, and are raising them to be as funny and loving as you are.
    So relieved to see the wake-up shot hidden in the extended section. As I neared the bottom of the initial entry I was thinking, “where’s the picture?” I just knew it had to be there somewhere 🙂
    Happy 16th, Andrew!!!!!

  10. Jackie

    Can I just copy and paste this to my blog in 9 years? My GOD, I feel like I’m looking into my future.
    Thanks for the sob at 830 in the morning.

  11. Daisy

    I hope your teenager is a normal enough teen to say “Geez, mom! How embarrassing!” even as he revels in the love expressed in this post. Teens are wonderful, aren’t they?

  12. Baby Favorite

    My oldest is 13 right now, and I think I adore him in the way you adore your son/children. BEYOND WORDS. People keep making those comments about his being a “teenager,” as if his head is going to spin around at any moment and spew forth pea soup, but you know what? I refuse to listen. He’s amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing about him. Except for maybe keeping him 13 forever.

  13. Baby Favorite

    My oldest is 13 right now, and I think I adore him in the way you adore your son/children. BEYOND WORDS. People keep making those comments about his being a “teenager,” as if his head is going to spin around at any moment and spew forth pea soup, but you know what? I refuse to listen. He’s amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing about him. Except for maybe keeping him 13 forever.

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