I remember when you were born.
It seems like yesterday.
It was only yesterday, wasn't it?
It's like I didn't pay attention for one second.
Like I was distracted for just one moment.
It's like I blinked my eyes and upon opening them again I am looking into the face of a boy who is growing up too fast.
A boy who is staring double digits right in the face.
You are turning a decade old.
You are turning 10.
10 years!! *dramatic pause*
And all of a sudden I feel like time is slipping through my hands.
Like that child who made me mother 10 years ago is slipping through my hands. There are things I want to teach you, things I want you to know. Things I want you to be as certain of as your heartbeat. And as I write this, I wonder, how did I fare as mother over the last 10 years? How did I do? Have I done enough? Have I done everything I can? Have I given you all of me? Have I been the mother you deserve?
I look at your little button nose slowly disappearing and desperately hoping that I've done a good job in helping you and teaching you the values and themes that I and our family hold dear.
Your hair is getting longer. When you stand next to me now, our eyes meet. My jeans fit you. We even have the same bloody size shoe!
I always tell you that no matter how old you are, to me you will always be my little boy. Even when you are an old man with grey hair, I will still hug and kiss you. And I say this because I mean it. And we joke about it. I say this as a promise which is starting to sound more like a threat because I don't want to let go of you. I want to hold on to you for as long as I can. You are my first child. My first son, who taught me motherly love.
Sometimes I look at you from a distance and I see a young man. I can see what you will look like in 2 or 4 or 8 years. And I am proud. Because you are beautiful inside and out. You are a wonderful boy and you are the best son a mother could ask for.
I remember when you were born. Like it was yesterday. Oh the excitement. The disbelief of nature's miracle growing inside me. It was a big deal for me. I had waited for you. I had longed for you since I was a girl. I had prepared for months and months to get ready for you. I wasn't ready when you were born 9 days late. No amount of books or research could have prepared me. What happened when you were born was indescribable. The amount of love that that filled my heart and each fiber in my body the minute I saw your little face was overwhelming. The love I felt for you from day one, the sense of protection and nurture came instinctively from very deep within me and grew exponentially every day. I could spend hours looking at you, and realizing that you have my nose and that part of me is now in you.
Sometimes I look at you from a distance and I see a young man and it scares me. You are growing up so fast and I am trying to keep up. I don't want to miss a moment of you growing up and becoming the man you will become one day. I jokingly say to you if you don't stop growing I'll have to bring you back to the shop where I got you and exchange you for the little boy you once were. We laugh about it. And when you laugh, I can see my little boy again. With your childlike giggle and your crinkles around your nose. Your giggle reminds me that you're still my little boy and while you grow, some things will never change.
You have grown into a beautiful soul, a smart, funny, loving and caring boy and I am so incredibly proud to be your mother. You are a thoughtful, well-adjusted, capable, independent, wonderful boy.
Here are a few things I want to say to you as you celebrate your 10th birthday:
I want you to know -and I know that you already know- that I love you endlessly no matter what.
Don't change who you are.
Don't change the way you see the world or the way you feel.
You read me like a book and sometimes look right into my soul. You can tell by the look in my eyes or the sound of my voice if I am sad or happy. You put your arms around me to make sure I am ok. Don't stop caring about the people you love and the people around you.
Nurture your sensitivity and your feelings, because you can be strong and feel a lot at the same time. This is a good thing.
Find your passion and follow it.
Be different if that's what you want to be. Just be and be true to you.
Your freckles are part of you. They are beautiful. Never let anyone tell you any different.
Focus and follow through on whatever you want to and sometimes need to achieve. This is important.
Now it's no longer only me teaching you, but you teaching me. I've learned so much from being around you and from talking to you.
You, my son, made me the person I am today. I am a different person. I am a better and a stronger person. You help me grow in love, compassion and kindness every day. You inspire me to be the very best that I can be, because more than anything I want to make you proud. And every day I am learning to become a better mother to you and your siblings. You helped me through the hardest times of my life with your unconditional love and your beautiful smile. And now you are with me during the best times of my life, as my son, my friend, my companion, my copilot. You have given me so much. More than you will ever realise. I am thankful for you, for every moment of you, then, now, always.
I promise you that I will hold your hand for as long as you will let me.
Happy Birthday, Son!