My firstborn turns TEN tomorrow. Are you kidding me?! One short blink ago he was a curly haired toddler bolting through the patch in search of his very first pumpkin. And now DOUBLE DIGITS! It can’t be.
It crossed my mind today, after a particularly challenging morning with him, that he will never truly know the depth of my love. He’s learned a lot in ten years, grown leaps and bounds physically, mentally, emotionally, but those gains are grains of sand compared to the mountains of lessons his life has bestowed upon mine.
He showed me what real love is. Not I love you but love. Rather, he taught me I love you and love. Parents, you know what I mean. Love that is not just said to be unconditional, but IS unconditional.
He showed me grace. Frankly, because there have been times that I have messed up. Not been my best. But he knows forgiveness and shows me grace for my humanness. Thank you, Jesus!
He showed me what I deserve. He is my heart. And so when I was a single mom he reminded me that I should never ever settle. I sought a partner that would love all of him. And if there was an indication that they would not be the type of man I wanted my son to model manhood after…bye!
He showed me how to let loose. 25 years old and so grounded that I couldn’t find joy in the normal. He changed that with his fiery spirit, his playful nature, his never ending fart joke.
He showed me faith. Seems silly but given my shared parental rights with his Dad I constantly live in a space of believing in the unseen. Believing he is well, is safe, is loved, is cared for. There is no faith without blind faith. And I will believe in him until my last breath. I will believe in him when others give up.
He showed me how to exude patience. Come on, parents. You know what I’m talking about. Kids test you in mighty mighty ways. I just cringed a little thinking of a few times I have wanted to but refrained from wringing his neck.
He showed me that time spent time with ones you love matters. Before him I was obsessed with my career. I spent 3 hours a day commuting and worked nights and weekends to get ahead. He changed my priorities.
He showed me knowledge. Mind you, most of it is useless in the real world but, man, can I tell you a thing or two about Pokémon, Minecraft, Ben10, and MarioKart. Expert boy mom comin’ at ‘ya!
He showed me laughter. Like real laughter. Belly laughter. Pants peeing laughter. This kid is a hoot! He loves telling jokes. He loves playing jokes. He loves bringing joy everywhere he goes.
So, as the clock strikes midnight and I find myself with a ten year old boy, I am reminded that the lessons he’s taught me are far more mature than his years. I am because of you, Buddy! Happy Birthday to my Ethan Paul.