Thirteen years ago this minute, as I was in labor, I still thought he was a girl. The ultrasound said girl. Everyone said girl.
My dreams had said boy.
My morning walk to induce labor I had stopped not at the girls clothes rack, but at the tiny little suits, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the teensy little ties.
After three false labors I was forced to sit in the hotel room my Mom had reserved utnil I “Finally” stopped screwing around and gave birth already. (For the record, Brandon was only 1.5 hours “early” for his due date.) When my contractions were finally 3 minutes apart, my mom called my OB, who then demanded to know why we waited. She, in her dry and sarcastic glory informed him that she wasn’t about to take me in if I wasn’t going to actually have the baby.
But he was perfect.
The gorgeous blue of his eyes made me fall in love in an instant.
Everything on time. Every milestone reached at JUST the right moment. Every clothing size changing right at it’s declared time (0-3 months? Gone at three months. 3-6? Gone at six…it was eerie).
He was happy. Smart. Playful. Loving.
He was my world.
He was my mom and dad’s world.
The first born grandchild. The first born great-grandchild.
Not always in the best, most fair ways for him. In truth, sometimes he was forgotten, because he was so ‘perfect’. So easy in comparison. (I hate myself for it, but it is true).
It never made him less loved.
In many ways, being the parent of a teen is infinitely harder than raising the young ones. He isn’t satisfied with easy answers. He sees the world around him in such a different light. He sees things that a younger child wouldn’t. He understands and absorbs everything. Things that I sometimes haven’t the slightest idea how to explain to him, to clarify.
Right now he is struggling, battling against an internal battle I can’t resolve for him. Fighting against the common, and always unique and personal pain of being a teenager.
But in his heart – he is a good kid. He is smart. He is still loving.
He is annoyed with his parents. Embarrassed that his mother has a tattoo and plans more. He hates failure. He strives to do his best and no one is harder on him when he fails than himself. Interested in photography. Science. Math. Writing. Cross Country.
He achieves big things. Advancements in Boy Scouts, Junior Honor Society.
He struggles to fit in.
He is 14.
In so many ways.
He is my baby.
In so many ways – he always will be.
Happy birthday to my oldest, my first born.
14 is a big number. But you’re just getting started.
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