Happy 17th birthday, S. I hope it has been a wonderful day for you; I hope you’ve done what you wanted on this birthday and that you were reminded of how loved you are by your friends and family.
Your arrival 17 years ago came two weeks past the due date. The midwife had her deadline: if you didn’t come on July 9th, you weren’t being born at home. She wouldn’t attend beyond the two-week mark. Thankfully all it took was the little persuasion of breaking the water sac. Less than an hour later contractions started. I think once you got the hint, you decided to make an easy entrance because it only took a few more and you were born. You were the biggest of my babies and yet the easiest birth by far. I’ve always thought your particular entrance into the world was reflective of your personality: peaceful, confident, genial. What a joy it was to hold you in my arms and begin the challenging, wonderful work of mothering you.
I don’t know if you’re getting my emails anymore. I sent one a few days ago, wondering if you’d be willing to meet me so I could give you your gifts. I sent another one today with birthday wishes; the gifts are on their way by mail.
I spent time this morning looking at pictures of your first few months. Then I skipped ahead 15 years, to pictures from the summer of 2010. In the two photos I lingered on the most, you are looking directly into the camera. It was almost like being there all over again, and I was amazed at how each picture evoked the same response. Plain, simple, pure love. There was no difference in the two-month S and the 15 year old S; you are my son and every memory, every picture, every reminder of you is as complete as any other. Having that realization today eased my sadness somewhat over our separation. It reminded me that you are in my heart forever, and I look forward to the day when you have found it in your heart to forgive me.
This is what I know about you: you did not come to this world to struggle. You give effortlessly because you do not perceive a lack within yourself. I have always felt that there will come a time, early in your adulthood, when your potential will be given the chance to burst open and shine in amazing ways. You are destined to touch many people in a very positive manner. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll change the world or take it by storm in some dramatic fashion, but that you will fulfill your purpose well and touch others by doing so. There is much joy in your soul. I know that about you, too.
I am so glad you came to us. So glad to have helped you grow. So glad to have watched your progression through childhood. I miss you, and I love you very much. Even though we are apart, I celebrate you in my heart and send you every wish for your happiness and fulfillment. You are a dearly cherished son. Always.