It was my first real look at my baby boy, my oldest child, of whom I'd only gotten a quick glimpse when they whisked him away from me to the NICU. I didn't actually get to see him in person until he was 18 hours old. I was scared out of my mind.
Luckily he had only a minor issue that needed to be observed for a few hours before he was fine. I can barely imagine how parents cope with a baby who is actually really sick.
Now he is 16. He is officially taller than his dad.
He is a musician and artist.
He loves kids and they love him. Especially my nephew.
He should get his driver's license sometime next month if all goes well. The thought of sending him out alone to drive around in the world has me scared out of my mind.
Honestly, why doesn't anyone tell you this part of parenthood? There are so many emotions that people share - the overwhelming love, the frustration, the bone numbing fatigue, the laughter. They even talk about the worry. But no one really tells you that, in between the joy and the exhaustion you spend the vast majority of your time as parents just plain terrified.
I love this kid like crazy. And he's a good kid - he rarely, if ever, gives me a moment's trouble. I'm not that worried about him; I'm worried about all the other nutty people in the world and my boy without me there to protect him.
So lookout, World. I'm going to try to let him go, little by little. But if you hurt him, I'm comin' for you.
Happy birthday, my boy. I am proud to be your mom and love you so much!