My First True Love
16 years ago today, I was sitting in a room at Liberty Hospital and in my arms was the very first child I ever held. Holding babies is pretty common for most and it’s rather unusual to go 17 years without ever holding one but that is exactly what happened to me. Babies scared the hell out of me and I always refused to hold them because I was so scared of how fragile they were. So, for 17 years I avoided them and then he came along. In my arms that day was the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen and for the first time in my life, I fell in love. This wasn’t a type of love I had ever known; this was the most pure and never-ending love imaginable. This was the love between a mother and her child.
My life was never easy and becoming a mom at 17 years old isn’t what any teenager really wants to go through. While I was scared to death, this new little person made everything in my own life seem insignificant and unworthy. It was almost like I had never done anything at all. From the moment I met him on August 27th, 1996, my world changed. Adoption or abortion never crossed my mind and I prepared my life for the series of changes that were soon to come about.
16 years later, I reflect back on every sickness, every tear, the first crush and the first “break-up”. I think about when he was 1 1/2 and I always teased him and I would wave his diaper around after I took it off and I would shake his butt like he were dancing. Then I remember the repercussions in doing that and I can clearly see the day that he took the diaper off of himself and he went to shake it around and around, twirling it about while poop flew from it. Potty training him was a disaster and any time he had to go he would run and hide under a table. He’d sit there under the table right in front of me, red-faced and grunting one out. There was 1st grade when I was only allowed to refer to him as “Pokemon” and he wouldn’t let me call him by his name. For one whole year his name was Pokemon.
Oh, how my life changed. Now my little Pokemon is becoming a man. In a few years, he will be 18 and he will be setting off on his own. I sit and I wonder if I did right by him and if I always raised him the best way I could. When I see him and the person he has become, I can’t deny that there is something special in the boy. I know, I could not be more proud of him.
So, on your 16th birthday, Son, I want to tell you just how much I love you. You are the reason I wake up every day and the reason why I can’t wait for the next dawn to break. When you came along, my heart was fragile with bits and broken pieces but you were the glue that put it all back together. And you didn’t stop there, for the past 16 years you have filled my heart with love, hope and promise. I know that there are many mistakes that I have made as a mom and I can’t promise to always get it right. What I can promise you is that you will forever be my first true love. Thank you for giving me and my life purpose, joy and a special kind of love that only a parent can feel. I love you. Happy birthday.