I know you have been claiming you're “18” for several years now haha, but you might feel a little different waking up today knowing you can legally vote (please do so deliberately and carefully), buy lottery tickets (can’t win if you don’t play right?) and fight and die for your country (hoping with all of me that it never comes to that). Since today is such a momentous occasion I figured I would write to you from my heart (and then post some of it for everyone else to see haha). Today is bittersweet for me. Over the last few months I have found myself wavering between celebrating for having birthed, nurtured, taught and released out into the world, a productive and thoughtful member of society and losing myself in a "few" beers and crying because my baby is all grown up! It seems like yesterday I was reaching down to kiss your sweet face and it’s as though I blinked and in place of my precious baby boy stood a grown man.
You have grown into a thoughtful, respectful, loving, freethinking person and I am proud to have in any tiny way helped in that. It wasn’t always easy. I didn’t know much about being a parent and we had to grow together. I am sorry for my mistakes and shortcomings and while there were definitely times of mommy desperation when I understood why in some species the mothers eat their young, I am thankful that wasn't the case because then I would have missed out on so many amazing moments of profound happiness!
I know that I sometimes see you through “mom” eyes, seeing only your best qualities but know you still have much to learn. I gave you a good portion of the cliché “grown-up” advice before you left for Europe (I hope you revisit those pages occasionally 😉) but also want to remind you that you are here for a reason! Stay confident and humble. Continue to be loving and kind to all. Your actions, not your age, make you a man. So, do what is right and be a good man! The world needs more of them. No matter where life leads you, I will always be your mother, your friend and as I have always told you…nobody can ever have your back and love you like I do. Ever. Happy Birthday my ❤️