Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When a child becomes an adult, does it mean I'm getting old?

I decided to add this post to my blog even though it's actually content from last weeks AZ Active Kids newsletter. I figure this is the best way for me to preserve it since I hope to some day take all these posts and copy them into a hard bound Heritage Makers book. Here's the post (sorry for those who have already seen it).

Today is my son Holden's 18th birthday...does that mean I'm getting old?

Everytime my kids have a birthday I tease them about "all the pain I was in around this time" the day before their birthday. With my oldest this rings the truest...not because I had a difficult delivery (I didn't) but because I was a single mom when I had him. Looking back, I realize that I had no idea what I was in for...and that was probably for the best.

The night before Holden was born I labored alone in my tiny 2 bedroom duplex, not wanting to call my mom too early. My contractions were 5 minutes apart and would send me doubling over into a ball on the carpet or in a chair...and then I would walk. The thought of this makes me weepy because I realize that I've always been a pretty brave person (and this is not to pat myself on the back). Why wasn't I terrified or why didn't I ask to stay at my parent's house for the night? I've always had an independent streak in me and I hate to ask for help. It's one of my many flaws.

I called my mom sometime around 6am and we were at the hospital an hour later, but Holden wasn't born until 5:01pm. I'll never forget that moment when he was placed in my arms. While he only weighed 6 lbs 14 ozs I could feel the weight of the world right there in my arms. This child would change my life in ways I never expected.

Holden has made parenting seem easy. While he looks like any other teenager, there's something quite special about him. He's caring, sensitive, respectful, considerate, honest, outgoing, confident and hard working. If I could clone him I would. I'm a lucky mom today...my baby is turning 18 and I'm feeling a deep sense of gratitude and relief. Is he really an adult now? I know my job as a parent will never end, no matter how old he gets, but it's almost as if we hold our breath waiting for them to turn 18, mind you he still has to graduate from HS next year. Maybe then I'll be able to exhale.

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