My not so little boy turns 18 today.
I’m not going to lie – it’s bittersweet.
There is a small part of me that misses the sweet little boy. The one who would hold his chubby arms up for hugs or curl against me when he didn’t feel well.
Wait. he still does that.
I worry about him. Worry about whether or not I taught him all the tools he will need as he takes this next giant leap into the next stage of his life. Will he be happy?
But mostly? I’m proud.
It has been an amazing journey, watching as he grows, as he develops, as he becomes this man. The evolution has been fascinating, and I cannot even begin to tell you how proud I am of him.
Yes, I tease him – it’s how my family shows it’s love.
Yes, I will always worry about him – that’s part of being a mom.
Yes, I will likely slip into telling him what to do even yet – again, a mom, no, a parent thing.
Yes, my home is always open to him – he can stay here as long as he likes, as long as he needs to finish school and get his feet under him.
Being a single mom over these years, I had a lot of doubts, a lot of worries. Watching him over the past couple of years, however, I’ve seen him make mature decisions I never expected. Even now, he’ll say or do something that surprises me. He is thoughtful and kind, but is still inching towards independence.
He’s frightened – I understand that. I was, too.
He’ll make mistakes – everyone does.
But the point is never to give up – to always move forward.
On today of all days, my advise I would give this precious child as he steps over that threshold into adulthood?
- Never be ‘normal’ – it’s entirely overrated.
- Never settle – damnit, Dev, you are so very worth it.
- Be loud, be proud, be YOU… even if that’s not loud. Ok, just be you. But be proud, my boy.
- Don’t grow up – it’s overrated.
- Learn to fake being an adult, though – go to work, go to class, pay your bills. You would be surprised how many people you can fake into believing you are mature by doing these things.
- Listen to others. It’s a give take relationship, my love.
- Have ADVENTURES! Real adventures.
- Do things that frighten you.
- Let me stay in your life… I have seen so much, but you are really only just beginning. I want to see it all.
- Lastly, don’t give up… don’t ever give up. On anything. On YOU.
Mostly? I just want him to know he’ll always be loved.
Happy birthday, Devlin.