You were delivered on a full-sized bed in the middle of our living room, surrounded by close friends and family. "You're crazy," people told me, for giving birth at home, and for sharing such an intimate and vulnerable experience with anyone other than my doctor and husband. Looking back, I have to agree. I was crazy – crazy young, crazy naive – but I knew enough about myself to fortify myself with all the support I possibly could. "Your body was made to do this," assured my mom, while I groaned and cried throughout the excruciating throes of labor. Then, hallelujah!, you emerged, all shockingly dark and hairy. And I laughed deliriously because you were finally here, and you were beautiful – because the pain was over.
Just recently, we were in the car together and Pearl Jam's Better Man came on the radio. "I used to love this song," I said, and you playfully rolled your eyes at me. I am endearingly ancient to you now, outdated, which feels strange – not because it hurts my feelings or anything, but because so clearly I can remember being your exact age and thinking my own mother hopelessly old fashioned. You're intense, poised to leap, electric blue and neon yellow. I'm soft and worn, settled in, shabby chic.
Today I celebrate your mind, teeming with magic and grand ambitions, your tender heart and eternal soul. I'm thankful for all I've gained, and surrendered, specifically because of you.
And I am proud of myself for not eating leftover birthday cake for breakfast this morning.
It's been a heck of a ride so far, my teenage boy chasing down manhood. God grant you many, many, many more love filled years!