Monday, June 11, 2012

Officially, No Longer My Baby

My little boy that laughed readily, even at the tender age of 3 months, is 21 years old today.

If you are a mom who has grown children, you alone know what I am feeling today.  I can't quite put my finger on it; there isn't really one word to describe it, but the feeling is still there.

I feel like I should be able to flip a switch, dial down a knob, or just wiggle my nose and have this sense of constantly protecting, forever worrying gone from my state of being.

Alas, things just don't work that way.  I feel I should talk to my mother or other people who have grown children.  How do you turn it off?  Although my son still lives with us, I still feel like this is a huge mile-stone; not just for him, but for me as well.

Relatively speaking, I feel as if my anchor has given way.  I know I am still a mom but at the same time, I feel like my job is just for show now.

He no longer has to do as I say.  I can't ground him.  I can't put him on restriction.  I can't hug him, and shower him with fish-kisses anytime I want to.

He's the only one I have.  I had no practice and sometimes it showed.  Often times, it didn't though.  It is a blessing to hear what a wonderful son I have, how polite he is, how much of a hard-worker he is.  I sometimes wish that I could say that more often myself, but as with all children, they are on their best behavior for others and only you as their parent get to see "the dark side".  Ha!

I look at him sometimes and my heart hurts I love him so much.  I was 17 when I had him, and I thought, as only a 17-year-old girl does, that I couldn't love anyone more than myself.  When I first saw him, after the doctor laid him on my chest, all slimy and screaming, I thought my heart would burst.  And I knew, without a single doubt in my mind, that I would die for this squirming, screaming little boy.  I would protect him with my life and try to teach him to be a good boy and eventually, a great man.

Sometimes, when I talk to my friends and relatives who are my age and they are just now having babies, I wonder how I ever did it so young.  I guess it doesn't really matter now.  Although, I do wish that I knew then what I know now.  That would be the ultimate super-power to have, I think.

I wonder if I am the only one who remembers exactly what their baby looked like during those first few minutes of life outside the womb?  I remember seeing the "wine-stain" birthmark on his fingers.  I noticed over time that they darken when he is mad or upset.  I remember seeing the birthmark on the back of his neck for the first time, that looks like three dots arranged in a pyramid.  I remember his long, soft blond hair.  I also distinctly remember the words, "Holy cow!" from the nurse that weighed him in at 8 lb 14.5 oz.  I also remember that the layette set we brought for him to come home in was too small for him and the booties wouldn't fit on his newborn, size 2 feet.

Although, I missed a lot of time with him due to life and what sometimes goes along with it, I am very grateful for every single minute that he is here on this earth.

It staggers me to think of how I could of made this person.  It is amazing to see pieces of his dad and myself in this other human being; this other person that I made.

My sisters have grandchildren now.  I love those little babies, but I can only imagine what it would be like to see myself and my son's dad in another little child.  To get all Game of Thrones on ya, "the blood of my blood" and all that.  Very theatrical but there you have it.

Happy 21st Birthday Baby!!!