Eleven years ago my husband and I began the greatest journey of our lives. Great seems like the wrong word to describe parenthood, because it doesn’t nearly encompass the ridiculousness of what it means to be someone’s mother or father.
Ridiculous might actually be more appropriate.
When this boy came into our lives, everything changed.
I didn’t know the passion with which I threw myself into my work, my projects, my relationships, my marriage, my family…would be entirely eclipsed by this tiny human who would squeeze my finger and look into my eyes as he nursed. Owning me.
It was ridiculous. It still is ridiculous.
Now that he is becoming, well, himself, I’m learning to let him take over his own life. The life we gave him, the life we help guide as he learns about the world. The good. The bad. The wonder with which he sees everything.
He is so much braver than I am and so much stronger. His heart is so pure- and I know people tend to say that about children a lot-but his heart is truly so pure and loving that he weeps with joy when the sky is full of clouds and feels total elation that is contagious when seeing stars. He makes you look out the window of your everyday car in your everyday life and actually watch the mountains go by and the sun set below the horizon. And then he’ll say something so simple it hurts.
Mom, isn’t the world just beautiful?
His current obsession is flight. Planes. Shuttles. He’s thrown himself into learning everything about how a human might reach the heavens so he can witness Earth’s beauty first hand.
So naturally we bought him a flying lesson for his birthday.
The intensity and fierceness with which I wanted to stop him nearly overwhelmed me. But after ELEVEN YEARS I finally am working on becoming the mother I had always hoped I would be, at least, in part.
I didn’t tell him I was petrified something would go wrong. I didn’t show my nerves. I simply continued to encourage his dream. I wanted him to know I was behind him 110% if this is what he wanted.
Over a decade of parenting and I’m still trying to figure this whole Mom thing out.
When my son arrived in this world, after weeks and weeks and weeks of bed rest…monitor strapped to my swollen belly, sending my preterm contractions to a nurse over an old school modem, we were just happy he was healthy. Then, like every mother before me, I worried and fretted about milestones and motor skills.
Keeping our kids safe seems to be forever on the mind. Protecting.
Yet at the same time, we tell them they can be anything. They can do anything. If they find something they love we will happily help them achieve their goals.
My son wants to fly. In a way, he always has been flying. He’s done it in his mind and daydreams a million times. I’ve watched him. I can see the wheels spinning as he runs through our house flapping his arms.
His first goal as a Kindergartner was to retrieve the rovers from Mars. We wore out one ‘Roving Mars’ DVD and had to buy another before he was reading or writing. A documentary.
It just never occurred to this mother he would need to leave the safety of the ground.
He’s smarter than I am. He has a plan that involves learning to be a pilot young so he can get it out of the way and amass his fortune in order to fund his other obsessions. Inventing his dreamworld filled with creatures and robots and fun. All while making sure Spirit and Opportunity return to Earth not to mention making sure his many hobbies are equally tended to-most of which involve other worlds. Other galaxies. Dark matter, black holes, the beyond.
He figured out long ago he’d need to take this step and didn’t even ask if he could, knowing Mom and Dad would be there to support his dreams.
I adore this child and am glad he’s challenged me to be a better person, a less selfish woman, more of an adventurer, less of a panicked mother.
I always knew he would touch the stars, I just didn’t realize it would take everything in me to let go in order for him to spread his wings and fly.
Happy Birthday Jack.