Phew. Today is the day that you, my baby boy, turn 13.
Seriously, I never thought we’d make it this far. I’m not even kidding. You. As a baby. As a toddler. As a preschooler. You challenged me.
You know what? We did it. Together.
Before you arrived on the scene, I didn’t feel like our little family was complete. And, after you did, it was. You were SO wanted. Never, ever forget that. The third time is definitely the charm, because you completed our circle of five.
When I was first pregnant, I was sure you were a girl. But, we went to the ultrasound, your sister and I, and you obviously, and the technician asked,
Do you want to know the gender?
Of course I said yes. I hate surprises, after all. When she pointed and said, There’s the scrotum, I was shocked. I answered her with a perplexed,
But girls don’t have those.
No, they don’t. Nor does anyone have your unique Jonah-ness. They couldn’t see that magic in the Ultrasound, now could they.
You are one of a kind. If they bottled your energy, they could fill up a whole warehouse of 5Hour Energy drinks. From the moment you started crawling at three months, I knew I had my work cut out for me. You kept me running, that’s for sure. That’s when you weren’t laid up with one of your ear infections or other illnesses. You were a brave little guy, going through seven sets of ear tube surgeries, the first when you were only nine months old. I don’t know how someone could have been so happy and smiley when they were sick all the time, but you were. Luckily you got all of that out of your system, and now, other than the occasional Wednesday-itis, you’re healthy like the proverbial horse.
J, your creative naughtiness is legendary. Singlehandedly, you have dispelled any delusions I had about my mothering skills. You left me breathless, you had me stumped. Looking at the results of some of your antics I just scratched my head, wondering WHY. Or HOW. or even WHEN. Along the way, though, I’ve learned a lot. About myself, about you, about patience. You taught me to breath. You taught me to look below the surface. Today, I am who I am because of you. The bravery and maturity that I see as you own and overcome the challenges that come with your ADHD completely astound me.
Today, I apologize. For not knowing. For not understanding what you needed every day.
Your brains. They are huge. That’s all I can say. I think you knew more than me when you were 10 years old. I truly look forward to what the future holds for you. As long as hacking isn’t on the table, I’m fine with whatever you choose to do with your great mind.
You are so full of love, even though you keep trying to act all mature and teenager-y. I know you don’t actually think I’m as embarrassing as you say I am. When I try and hug and kiss you in public, I’m sure that you would like to kiss and hug me back, but you don’t want other people to be jealous of us. Some of my best nights, in fact, are laying in bed with you reading or watching movies. I know I cling a bit to you, but you’re our youngest. I need to keep you small for just a while longer.
What can I say to you on your 13th birthday, except that today you are a man. I can’t wait to see you read the Torah at your Bar Mitzvah, and witness you take your place in the Jewish Community. Even though you say religion is dead, I know one day the pomp and circumstance will mean something to you. Now, you do it for me. So I can swell with pride as you smile and look toward your future.
Kid, you were lucky you were cute when you were little, or we may never have made it to this moment. But, I’m so glad that we did. And, I’m so happy that we have you in our lives.
I am honoured to be your Mom.