Today my oldest child turns 18. Legally an adult. I still can’t grasp that fact. It doesn’t seem like the sand in his childhood should be shedding its last grains into the bottom glass. I am a mix of so many emotions. There is the sigh of relief that the ball is fully in his court now and the pang of anxiety surrounding that same realization. He will now (for the most part) will be sorting out his mistakes on his own using his still green life lenses. There is the vain longing for all the spent time back again. To fix my own mistakes and re-live all the beauty and depth of the journey. There is the nostalgic sadness as I grieve the stages and phases left behind by the baby and the toddler and the boy he was as I watch those memory-mirages growing further and further away in the rearview mirror of my life. There is the sense of completion that comes from sending a man into the world who will leave his mark, independently of me- who will carry with him and pass on a love that surrounded him from the time he was conceived. AJ, you changed the trajectory of my life in such a pivotal way. You gave me the title of mom. While it hasn’t been the easiest title to carry, and I have, more than once, stumbled under the weight of it, it has given me more joy than I ever could have imagined. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me this child to hold for a brief while, nurture for a time, and love for a lifetime. Happy birthday, son.
It seems like yesterday I was penning the post about feeling his childhood slip away in the pit of my soul. Now it has come to pass. This motherhood thing is joyfully, painfully, and satisfyingly bittersweet. Young mommas – you are NOT going to enjoy every moment. BUT the depth of the journey is enough to fill your heart with the thickest form of every emotion. while you may not enjoy all of it, embrace it. All of it. Allow every single one of its unique rocking waves to wash over it and use Jesus to plant yourself firmly so that the process sanctifies you from the inside out.