On this day 11 years ago, a sun rose in the sky and shortly after you were born. The world has been brighter ever since. You illuminate things.
Every birthday is more poignant for me, your mother. I look back at the year and can see this slow march to adulthood you are taking and I am bursting with pride and aware of how little time a mother really gets with her child after all. When they put you in my arms 18 years seemed like an eternity and now…well now…I can see how it comes in a blink of an eye–a blur of moments. You are teaching me to pay attention to each one, each miraculous one.
This was a blossoming year for you–a year of stepping into your own and really showing what you were capable of. This was the year you ran for student government and became school vice president, when you took a leadership role in school as a patrol. This is the year you inspired so many of us by doing a “goals for charity” program and raised over $2000 for Back on My Feet. This is the year you surprised all your swim coaches with your hard work and determination and burst into an advanced practice group, striving and pushing yourself and making meets.
More than all of your accomplishments I am proud of your resilience. Proud of the moments when you failed and found a way forward anyway. Like when you were trying to qualify for Junior Olympics and your goggles fell off and you had a bad race. You got back in the pool and wowed us by qualifying in the very next event–the one none of us saw coming, squeaking in by one-hundreth of a second. I was more proud that day than I would have been had you made it in every event. You know how to step up even when things aren’t going well.
You are exploring the world and discovering new ways of looking at things. This was the year you discovered that newborn babies are really cute. This is the year you discovered that a break-down of the car can be an adventure. That there are few things better than a cozy fire, a good book and a nice warm cozy blanket. One day you shocked me when you told me that you are kinda glad that Papi and I are divorced because you realized you are learning life skills your friends aren’t learning because there are just two of us in the house. You are seeing the opportunities in things others might call difficulties. I tell you how special that is. Most adults don’t know how to see life as gift, but you, you are my bell calling me to recognize that each moment–it’s all gift.
I love you so much Max. From the minute you were born you have been teaching me–teaching me to take myself less seriously, teaching me to slow down, teaching me to keep going, teaching me to appreciate every minute together, teaching me that life is constant shift and change.
I am so grateful you were born to me. It is a privilege to be your mother and hold your hand through this time. Thank you.