Happy 21st birthday. I hope you’ve had a good time marking the occasion. You deserve to feel loved, cherished, and celebrated, especially on this day.
Your arrival into our family made it complete. I can’t imagine life without you in it. I loved your curly hair, your ticklish spots, your beautiful laugh. I loved chasing you around the kitchen island while you squealed in delight, and how you begged me to do it again. And again, and again. I loved your company in the front seat when we drove into the city, our conversations often taking philosophical turns. I loved watching you climb walls (literally!) and play soccer and ride your bike. I loved calling you from work on the nights I worked late, saying our “goodnight stuff” over the phone, blowing kisses across the distance so you could go to bed feeling connected to your mom. Certainly life wasn’t always happy or easy; no one’s life ever is completely. But you were loved, without a doubt, and I’m grateful that you are my son.
It seemed to me that you were always in a hurry to grow up; to catch up to your older siblings, and now here you are, at a rite of passage that our society agrees marks adulthood in every possible potential. As a parent, I see you differently too. The child is gone, held in memory and cherished forever. The adult stands before me in my mind, and I want to tell you that you’ll be okay. Some days it won’t feel that way, but hang in there; better days come. No one really knows what they’re doing; that’s the secret no one talks about. Just do your best as you understand it in the moment, and strive to be the best version of your self that you can be, always. That core is what will see you thru the hard days, when all is said and done.
I love you, you know. There is no time, no distance, no misunderstanding that will change that.