Saturday is Veteran's Day, but it's also my son's birthday. It's also the first birthday he'll be spending away from me, since it falls on his Dad's weekend. I'm bummed, but we'll celebrate when he gets back. It's just hard for a mom on a birthday when she can't wrap her arms around one of the greatest joys of her life.
But I'm not here today to whine and moan about my kid being away, or my kid getting older. Both are unavoidable facts of life.
I'm here today to tell you that for all the gifts he'll get this birthday, none of them can hold a candle to the gifts he's given me. I've had fourteen years of sunshine, fourteen years of belly laughs so loud and robust that you have to laugh along. Fourteen years of "It's okay, Mom" for every time I've let him down. Fourteen years of "Maybe next time" for every outing we couldn't afford to go on or every movie I couldn't take him to see. Fourteen years of never holding a grudge, never quitting no matter how hard it's been for him, and never calling or considering a single person an enemy.
Fourteen years he's told me I'm beautiful almost every day. Fourteen years he's loved the hell out of his sister even when they fight like cats and dogs. Fourteen years he's greeted every new day like an unexplored adventure. Oh, the things I've learned in these fourteen years, about love, about sacrifice, about life and the living of it.
Happy Birthday to my darling David. I don't know what I did to deserve this kind of love, but I'm so very grateful to have it.