In twelve more years, or the last of the offspring birthdays for the year

(Max was twelve on June 14th. Happy birthday.)

maxtommy

In twelve more years, things will not be as they are now.

In twelve more years, you will no longer be my twelve year old son.

You will be twice as old as you are now.

You will no doubt be taller, broader, more of the you you’re growing into.

You will be my oldest, still.

My son.

The first to make me a mother.

maxflyIn twelve more years I wonder if I will look back to now. I wonder if I will remember your shoulder shrug chuckle and your constant interjection of usually random input. I wonder if you will still need to be told to take a shower and if you will remember your passion for Minecraft and Mario.

I hope I do.

But for now, while you are still my twelve year old son, I want you to know that I am proud of you. That I may never accomplish anything greater than I did when I gave birth to you and your sisters. That you are one of my greatest moments.

In twelve more years I will be just as proud. Prouder. Thank you for allowing me to be your mom. I will spend twelve more years watching you become a better person every day.

maxgraffiti

Only a month late

I’m sorry, Max.

Your birthday was over a month ago and I’m just now mentioning it on this chronicle of my thoughts.

Which is not to say that I didn’t think of it. Quite the contrary.

For eleven years, I’ve thought of you every day. It’s inescapable, really.

My firstborn. My son. It’s all very poetic.

Except lately it’s been quite obvious that you’re growing up – turning into a teenager, exerting your own brand of independence, testing waters and boundaries.

All in all, you’ve been kind of an asshole.

I know, it’s your birthday post and I shouldn’t say that – but let me expound. You are your own person. You are so like both of your parents that we are often blown away, but at the same time you’re so foreign and strange to us that we wonder what we’re doing wrong.

But then we realize that without a safe place to be an asshole, things could get kind of bad for you. For anyone, really.

Because that’s what family is. What home is. A place to let go and be awful and be unbearable and to know without a doubt that everyone there will let you be you. And love you no matter.

We do, so much.

You’ve grown so much in the past year. Your sisters adore you, even though they won’t admit it.

Your dad…you’re just like him.
Josh…I don’t know what he’d do without you to infuriate.

And me? You drive me crazy. Crazier than I already am. And I am, at the same time, simply amazed by you.

Amazed that I had any part in producing you.
Amazed that I get to know you.
Amazed that I get to see where this goes.

I love you. You are a stressful, grating, mindbendingly wonderful person. I wouldn’t change a thing.

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Ten

Dear Max,

If I were to say I never thought this day would come, it would not sound the way I wanted it to. I never thought anything awful would happen and you would never turn ten, but I guess I just never thought ahead to what would inevitably happen.

Ten years ago I was 22. And on this day, I met you.

You were everything I hoped you would be. You were loud and angry and absolutely breathtaking. You made me a whole person. My first baby. My son.

Now it’s a decade later and you have changed so much. Well, you have and you haven’t. You are still loud and angry sometimes. You still take my breath away. You make me as whole today as you did all those years ago.

I can’t be with you today. You’re off at camp and if your phone calls have been any indication, you are having the time of your life.

So I’ll say it here.

You are wonderful. You are the bravest, smartest, coolest little boy I’ve ever met. I admire so many things about you. You are thoughtful and sweet, caring and creative. You aren’t afraid to be your own person. Never, never lose that. You are the best person in the world at being you, and the rest of us are just lucky to know you.

For every time I’ve lost my patience, I’m sorry. For every time I’ve let you down, I apologize. I am so proud that you are my son. You make me so very proud.

I love you. I can’t wait to see what you become.

Love, Mom