The boy is 13 years old.
Like, I have a WHOLE TEENAGER living in my house now. It’s so crazy to fathom.
How did I manage to keep this kid alive for so long? My plants barely survive.
Ya’ll ever have those moments? Where you see your kid grow up, but you don’t really see it happening. You just look up one day and be like “who is this grown ass man in my kitchen?!”
Sorry. I’m having a moment.
But in true birthday fashion, I’m excited. We are in Brussels and I’m planning his day tomorrow. I’m actually sitting in the hallway watching Gilmore Girls working on his wake up surprise.
It’s like 3am. When I say I never sleep the night before his birthday, I NEVER sleep. I guess I didn’t sleep the night before he was born, so I keep the tradition going.
But I’m sitting here blowing up balloons, reflecting on the past few years of transition and stress and the resilience it must have taken to get him through all that I have thrown at him. He didn’t choose this overseas life. He would have much rather stayed in our pocket of Philadelphia and lived around the corner from his school for as long as he could.
But fought it at first. We fought the fighting. But we got through it.
I am constantly in awe of this kid who lives in my house and eats all my food. He’s absolutely amazing.
I strive every day to relax and just let him be who he is becoming. I’m paraphrasing Khalil Gibran in saying he is not mine. He comes through me, but he is not of me. He is his own and should be allowed to fly as he was created.
I used to believe that my lack of sleep was in anticipation and excitement of celebrating this boy, but in actuality, it was a time for me to reflect on these quiet moments of how far we’ve come together. How much we’ve both grown up and become better versions of ourselves.
I went into labor in the middle of the night on a freezing December day in Philly many moons ago. I spent all night wondering how I’d have the strength to bring the kid into the world. And every year I reflect on that night and all it took to bring him Earthside.
But tonight, I sit in gratitude. He is truly greater than my wildest dreams. And I am so proud I get to grow up with this boy.
Happy Birthday, kiddo. I hope I continue to make you proud.