On Tuesday my kiddo unbelievably turns 26. Twenty-six on February 26th. The big life adventure that began March 1st of 1993, when a tiny infant was handed to a pair of bewildered new parents under the most unlikely circumstances, is now more than a quarter century in the make. It’s been an adventure fraught with peril, as one of my friends used to say, much of it joyous, all of it difficult. But after all, most things worth doing are difficult.
At some indiscernible moment not long ago, the boy became a young man. Things have been mainly quiet for him lately, even copacetic, as my own dad would say. Meanwhile, his dad and I have been nudging him to think about his finances, planning for the future, curbing his impulse spending a bit (the new leather Captain America chair for his desk raised eyebrows up here in Vermont). His dad at least has the advantage, you might call it, of living under the same roof with him, while I’m reduced to texting and video messaging any piece of wisdom I hope he’ll hear. Still, we’re tickled he’s employed and showing palpable signs of stepping into grownup shoes, in earnest. There have been moments of doubt, of second guessing a multitude of parenting decisions. No parent escapes that, of course. Under other circumstances the outlook might have been far less promising for this kid: there’s much to celebrate.
But on this occasion, I want to toast all the moms and dads of challenging boys: of little boys who won’t nap when you really need a break—or at least a shower and some coffee; of impulsive boys without filters; of boys whose struggle in school is real, but whom so few really understand, and then only when it is too late; of boys drawn in and tethered beyond imagining to video games and electronic devices; of boys too focused on the One Thing that is never the Right Thing; of boys who want desperately to be off their meds so they can just be ‘normal’ like everybody else—but who finally understand they never will be; of boys who must learn the hard lesson of rejection, again and again; of boys whose innocence will end too soon; of tireless boys who push you to your limits; of your boys, the smart, loving children you know they are; and to every mom who must make the heart-wrenching decision to relinquish her perfect infant boy to the care of another mom. Tonight I raise my glass to all of you: never give up on your beautiful boys.
And to my own: happiest birthday. I love you to the moon and back. ~Mom