They say “time marches on,” but I disagree. It doesn’t march. It sprints. Even at my brittle age, I could keep up with a march. And while time sprints ahead, so do you. You outgrew me a few months ago by just a hair. But when I stood next to you yesterday, it was far more than just a hair.
I began writing this letter at midnight last night, on the eve of your 15th birthday. I was awake when the clock turned to midnight and the calendar flipped to your day. It is your birthday. You are 15.
It’s no great surprise that I was unable to sleep last night as I wrote. Well, for one, you can’t really sleep and write at the same time. But it was more than that. I have finally realized that your birthday–every year–is probably my most emotional day. More than Mother’s Day. More than other milestone days. It’s your day that gets me. Because it was you that made me a mom. In one phone call. In one 2 hour drive to meet you. In one look into your eyes, you added the greatest joy I had ever known and also relieved the greatest heartache I had ever endured. You filled a long-established void like no one else could and in that moment, 1000 prayers were answered. It began with you.
Yesterday, I tried to convert some old videos of you as a baby/toddler so we could relive the monkey you were. I managed to convert a few, upload them-horrible quality and all-to YouTube, break a camera, and then finally give up on the awesome slideshow I had playing in my mind with Sister Hazel as the soundtrack. Though I ultimately failed at video conversion, I succeeded at celebrating you. I remember you.
You are still you. Last night at twilight, I sat on the bumper of my garaged car, to my own peril, and watched you play B in basketball. As a sporting event, it was almost unrecognizable. I’m almost 100% certain that nobody scored. At all. Not once. But as a fun exchange between two goofy boys, it was perfect. And I shot some video, so I can remember even this when you are 30.
You have always been a joy and you are a joy now.
Happy Birthday, son.