Letter to my Teen Son

My Beloved Boy,

I knew you, deep inside me, the moment before life actually began. I sensed you when you were a part of me, before the two parts made a whole, before the cells shared DNA.

Your soul fluttered within my own, before you had a heartbeat. Long before any pregnancy test confirmed your presence, you outshined stars, my dear one.

For nine months, you grew and finished becoming held under my stretched skin. My secret keeper, my silent listener, I spoke to you of dreams and hopes.

I stroked your poking mass which wiggle-jiggled at the sound of my voice or my laughter. I day-dreamed about whom and what you would look like I awaited your arrival, hungry to hold you close with excitement.

Then, you were.

It took nine and a half hours of sweat and tears in labor until your first cries reached my ears. Born early in morning during a thick summer heat and under July’s humid cloudless skies, you arrived on the exact date the ultrasound predicted.

Your round face and hairless head were perfectly formed. All toes and fingers accounted for, you were beautiful… and pinkish wrapped in soft blue blankets, so mad at the world, and me, for your birth.

I held you, kissed your velvety forehead, rubbed my lips against the top of your head as unseen blond hairs tickled my lips. I breathed you, loving your smell. Warm. Contented. Sleepy in my arms.

Sighing in hum, you’d stretch your tiny fists above your head and yawn. Your face changing expressions in slumber as if trying on new masks, it captivated me completely. I watched you for hours as you kept those blond-trimmed, cobalt eyes on me. Across a room or a step away, my movements captivated you.

You did everything soon.

Crawling, walking, talking, reading! You followed your brother’s lead, such an apt pupil. He inspired you to do, by doing himself. It was as if you wanted to be older, even then.

Where did my chubby cheeked, blue eyed, bald baby go?

My drooling diaper clad angel flew into and though grade school dubbed the “Absent-Minded Professor”, forgetting to turn in completed homework or signed report cards which lowered your marks.

Teachers called to say how smart you were, how sweet, considerate, but unorganized. In high school, it was down to a science. Homework, your enemy, was begrudgingly completed out of fear of groundings or loss of computer time.

How could it be that you are almost grown?

It was just yesterday that I held you in my arms, rocked you to sleep. It was just last week that you stood no taller than my belly button.

Hardly a minute ago when I negotiated the curse of sleepwalking that plagued you or nursed bloody noses that came without warning. The other day, Pokmon cards and Batman movies were your passion, a time where trampolines ruled and catching lightening bugs filled our summer days.

Now, you tower over me and could carry me in your strong arms. You looked like a man, not a boy, in your Senior Prom tuxedo. Now, you are preparing for graduation in May with a wonderful girl that you love, who loves you, close by your side.

It can’t be reality. It went by too soon, happened too fast.

I didn’t have enough time with you. I wasted too much of it, not understanding time would take you away from me so fast.

Sometimes, it scares me. When I reflect on the era of being your fulltime mother and know it is ending, that soon you will face the world on your own terms, and that I might not be able to protect you from hard times or keep you safe.

I hold my breath, wondering what life has in store for you, wondering if I prepared you enough for that path you are about to walk down.

Countless times over countless years, I have reflected on what kind of life you might have, what wonderful things you would accomplish, and what can of man you would be.

Nothing fills me with more joy or pride than seeing the person you are becoming!

An honest young man who is tender and loving, patient and idealistic; a man that will be a great father and husband one day A good man.

Graduation is near and I brace myself for that bittersweet day, torn with what meaning it holds. A new stage for both of us!

I am so proud to call myself your mother. So proud of you! No matter what, I am in your corner and you have a soft place to land when you might need it.

You have always been a Momma’s boy. When people would point that out, I’d smile, secretly it made me happy. They acted like it was a bad thing, that I had made a huge faux pas.

Never a negative, there was something special between us. Something that time will not fade or age will not discount, something that keeps you on the inside of me no matter where you go or what you do.

Sp remember, where ever you go and whatever you do, I will be there. You won’t have to look far, only to your heart. The heart beats my name and always has.

You have been a gift to me and I am so grateful to have you in my life, to be your mother. You are your Momma’s beautiful little boy grown too quickly into her handsome, man-son.

My sweet son, I love you so very much…

Unconditional and unending, this love is the familiar beacon that started on that balmy November night, in Charleston, when I first knew you.

When your sandy hair turns white and your eyes sing with laugh lines, when your step is slowed and you pass into the twilight of your years, when I am no longer on this earth, you will continue to be, and will always be, my baby.

I love you with every fiber, every cell, every step and every breath I take.

Forever in my heart,
Your Momma…