Happy birthday to my son. My youngest child turns thirteen today. Thirteen years of roughhousing, competition, guns and gadgets. Thirteen years of bright brown eyes and tawny, tan-armed hugs. This boy has captivated my heart over the past thirteen years.
It’s hard to believe that there was a time when I had no plan that included him. He was a surprise, born more than six years after I was done having children. I feared I would be too old. I feared I would lose the freedom I had gained after leaving the preschool years behind. I had no idea how to raise a boy; I’d only had girls. I did not choose to have this child. He was chosen for me.
And I thank God for this blessing that I never sought. My son has filled my heart and brought me joy I didn’t plan on either. As my other children have grown and are leaving home, my son has filled the house with childhood. He has protected and taken care of his mother, like the little man that he is. He has needed me and wanted to be here. We have played and loved and laughed.
I already have an idea of what adolescence will bring. I pray that I have the stamina to endure it one more time. I know this sweet boy-child will pull away from his mama, as he learns to become an independent man. I know that in the blink of an eye he too will be planning his departure from my home. These are things he must do, and I will love him by letting him go when the time comes.
But God, who knows what I need better than I do, has once again provided. My daughter announced just the other day that she is expecting her second child. It seems I am well stocked with children to fill my home. Thank goodness for this cycle of life and my promotion to grandmother.
So today will be about a thirteenth birthday, with boys jumping around, eating junk food, video games, cake and a sleepover. I will enjoy the days that remain for my son to be my little boy, while they become few and far between. Then I will watch, in awe, the man that he grows to be. Happy thirteenth to my young man.