On the horizon is 13.

All the pictures here are from the short time that my oldest was an only child.

Now, on the horizon is 13.

Yesterday I reserved a space to have my son’s 13th Birthday. Equally exciting and heartbreaking. My oldest boy is on the brink of adolescence and it’s a bit hard to comprehend.

I took sometime this morning to reflect on a time I rarely do anymore. The 3.5 years that he was an only child. Now, he is one of four boys in this household filled with Pokémon cards, basketballs, iPads, smelly towels on the floor, gaming systems and socks everywhere. Seriously, I find them all the time! Why is there a single sock in the couch, on the step and in the toy bin? Why?

As hard as it is to recall, my boy was once an only child. There was a brief time that he was the only son, grandson, nephew, great nephew (and there weren’t any nieces or great nieces either). There was a time that he was IT. He was doted on and loved in a way that is almost impossible to describe.

This brief time came after the initial tears in the Kroger bathroom where I was alone when I learned motherhood was in my future at 18 years old. His 3 years of undivided attention came after the tough conversations with his soon to be grandparents who were probably more terrified than his father and I. Those 3 years of being the apple of everyone’s eye came after the doubt. There was so much doubt. Would we make it? Could we parent a child when we were children ourselves?

Here we are nearly 13 years later and man, we did a good job if I do say so myself.

I know he doesn’t remember that brief time of being all there was, but I do. I remember his fear of grass and feeding him with a spoon. I remember his horrifying allergic reaction to amoxicillin. I remember taking him to Grandma’s apartment to swim. I remember when he would have overnights at his Grandpa’s house and his Great Aunt’s house. I remember all the people who visited at the hospital. So many, many people. While his brothers had many visitors too, it didn’t compete with the first born.

I thought people visited in droves because he was born so early. People were just really curious to see this premature baby. Now I see that it was because he was the first one for so many people. He was the first of this next generation of kids within both mine and his Dad’s families. He was adored and while the attention towards him has shifted because more kids have come along. I need him to know he is still cherished and so darn special. I still believe he’ll change the world one day, though his “teenagery” attitude sometimes makes me wonder if he’ll do that from inside a prison (Kidding-Totally Kidding!).

He’ll make a mark. He’ll build roller coasters or play in a rock band. He may work as a minister or write a ground breaking novel. Maybe he’ll marry and have a family of his own. He may do a little bit of all those things or something completely off my radar. Mark my words though, this kid is unique in a way I can’t describe. So many dreams and ambitions. As cliche as it sounds, he will shoot for the moon and land amongst the stars.

He has his quirks and he owns them. He has unrelenting faith and a heart of gold. He has a servant’s heart and gives even when he only has a little to offer. He’s smart and works hard. He’s disorganized, drums on anything and everything using his fingers as sticks. Sometimes he lacks common sense, but his beautiful heart that is nestled inside his skinny frame makes up for all that.

I know I take for granted the young man before me. I know I get frustrated too easily and don’t always give credit when it’s due. Yesterday though, when I called and reserved space, I remembered. I plan to give him a party he will enjoy as much as people have enjoyed him for the last 13 years.

I need to thank him more often for coming into this world unexpectedly, but also in perfect time. The last 12 years and 8 months have been the best of my life and that’s because I have been able to spend it being his Mom.

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