We're in the home stretch now, kiddo. Only four months left until you graduate. Add a few more days to that, and you'll (finally!) be 18. Where have the years gone?
You were my first personal miracle; given to me when science had said you never would be; given to me again when medical experts said you should have been taken in that fall from the window. You were my starter baby, my guinea pig, my "grow up quick" guide to adulthood. You were all that often kept me locked to reality when you were a baby; you still often are. You were the highlight of my existence in those early years. You helped me remember that what I did mattered to someone. That I mattered to someone.
When your brother came along, you might possibly have been more excited than I was. Well, after you accepted that we weren't going to exchange the baby for a puppy. You were my little helper, feeding him and keeping him happy. You used to love it when he trailed around after you, and even though you will never admit it now, I think you still secretly smile when he talks about how awesome he thinks you are.
You never really were one of those difficult children that so many parents get to experience. You've always been loving, generous and open with your affection. Remember that afternoon you proudly called out to me from the street where you were riding bikes with your friends "Love you, Mom!"; and how they teased you? Do you remember your response? "What? Don't you guys love YOUR moms?"
You have turned into one of the most amazing young men I've ever been blessed to know. You are honest beyond measure, trustworthy, reliable, and still so amazingly generous with your love and affection. If you care about someone, they know it without a shadow of a doubt. Your friends admire your dedication to making the right decisions, and your commitment to following through on your choices. Your little brother STILL knows he can count on you to steer him in the right direction, whether you want to--or even know you're doing it--or not. Adults seek you out, because they know that when you say you'll do something, you'll do it. Even your dad and I know that; even if the dishes are still done with a little bit of grumbling.
Son, you are, without a moment's doubt, one of the very best parts of my life; of me. You are the keeper of a very special section of my heart that has belonged only to you since the doctor told me you existed when everything else said you shouldn't have. You make me prouder than proud; more proud than I ever realized I could be. I am proud of who you were, more proud of who you've become, and I can't even fathom how proud I will be of who you will continue to grow into.
From singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" when you were three, to our weekly "dates" after your football games in high school, you have given me more memories than anyone would have ever believed a heart could hold. I can only hope that I have given you just as many to take with you on your journey into adulthood.
I don't just love you, baby, I adore you.....