Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sweet 16

They say age is only a number, and since I don't see any letters jamming up the works, I suppose they are right. Birthdays celebrate those numbers and mark the passage of time. As a mother, I have greeted each one of my children's birthdays with a smile, a tear and a moment to reflect, whether the number seemed significant to anyone else or not. This one though? Today?
This number is one that even some other people recognize as a moment to pause. Those hands that clutched Matchbox cars will soon seek larger wheels. Those cool metallic colors will be set aside for two potentially uncool minivans. There is enough little boy left in our son to make the number sixteen seem acceptable...
...but the fact that he is now only two years away from eighteen and high school graduation is what stops me cold. I am so excited and curious to see this young man he is becoming, but for once in my life I am willing to be patient. I am content to watch his journey, cheering and butting in as I see fit. (And making him pose for photos, of course.)

In the video taken minutes after this boy was born, I can be heard saying "Is he okay? Am I okay?" I don't think there has been a single day in the past sixteen years when that same thought has not run through my mind. Think about any job you've had and the training process that has accompanied it. Didn't you feel like you made progress as the days went by, until you ultimately knew what you were doing? I keep wondering if my skill set for this motherhood gig will ever feel complete, or even satisfactory, someday. I remember my friend, Julie, telling me once that we are always an expert at the stage our children have just outgrown. That pretty much sums things up nicely.

I remember thinking all I was going to have to do to be a good mother was love my kids.
Naive, sleep deprived woman
The days when I let myself believe it is that simple, I am doing an incredible job!


  1. Aww, this is so sweet. I would say you've done a good job. He's still smiling and that's a great sign. Happy Birthday!

  2. You are the BEST Mom I know. Love you always.

  3. It is so hard, being a mom...whether it's been a good day or a bad day.
    A friend summed it up best: The days are long, but the years are short.

  4. That is one of the coolest shirts EVER!

    Since I started hanging out with you, I don't feel as completely lost and alone in this Mom thing. Every time I panic, or feel like a complete fool, you've given me perspective.

    You've got one fine looking sixteen year old to show for all your hard work(not to mention a beautiful daughter!), so you're just a perfect Mom to me.

  5. That is such a fab picture of the 2 of you. You look great!! Must be all that elipticaling. ;)

    It goes by awfully fast. You just have to try to do your best and grab on to those few moments when they aren't ignoring or yelling at you. And hope you did enough. So far, so good, momma!

    Happy birthday to your boy. :)

  6. Happy Sweet Sixteen to your son! Just think...we were both in the hospital at the same time (almost)....

    You are such a great mom (I can tell from your blog) and I know your kids appreciate your sense of humor. Very sweet post!


  7. Awe, I just went through this very thing a few months ago with my oldest. Happy Birthday to him!

  8. I don't think you're naive. Your son looks happy and healthy, so you've done a great job so far. Wishing him a Happy Birthday! :-)

  9. What a handsome boy! And you both are doing great. P.S. Are you related to Pat Benetar?