I am lucky. Today you turn 13.
Thirteen years ago today you made me the luckiest person on earth. Actually, 13 years ago today, you made me more than lucky, you made me your mommy.
I was lucky, not just because I became a mommy, but because I became your mommy. I am lucky because for 13 years I have had the chance to raise you, watch you grow, and believe it or not, to learn from you. You remind me that life doesn’t always have to move so quickly. You remind me to appreciate our family, because I know that you do. And even though it may not always seem like it, you remind me not to lose my temper. Your calm manner and sweetness remind me to let go of anger and pride when I am frustrated or impatient.
Someone once told me, “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” For the last 13 years I have been able to witness the process of an acorn becoming the oak tree. The little baby that you were– so happy, so calm, so easy going. The toddler years were a joy even though I had some sad days because I had to learn what it meant to be a family with just the two of us. But we got through it, and we found a wonderful rhythm together. It seemed like you adapted easily, enjoying the time with your father, and then coming home for some time with Mommy. And when our family grew to include your sisters and brother and Juan, your generous loving heart, accepted our new family.
On your 4th birthday, you traveled with your dad to New Mexico to visit your Granny. I waited all day for you to come home but your plane was delayed. When your dad finally arrived I opened the door, and you were asleep in his arms. It seemed like you had suddenly grown up. Your dad said, “I brought you back a 4 year-old.” He carried you inside and put you in your little bed. I looked at you sleeping there and wept with gratitude that you were home, and I was amazed that you seemed to grow up overnight.
It’s been 9 years since that night when you could still be carried in your father’s arms. It’s so hard to believe that you have grown as tall as me. Your voice has deepened and you no longer play with toys, unless you do it because your brother has
bugged begged you to. You told me you didn’t want any toys or games for your birthday this year. Instead you asked for money to save up for a computer. How responsible of you. How mature, how grown up.
I know you don’t like it when I worry about you and when I tell you how to do things. I can tell because sometimes I catch you rolling your eyes. But, then we exchange looks and we laugh because we can tell what we are each thinking. I know you probably don’t realize it, but I am happy to see you grow up. I do miss those days we shared together when it was just you and I, and those days I would enjoy watching you play with your toys or invent some game with Erica or Olivia, but I don’t really want to go back to those days. I am happy for today. I feel lucky that I get to see you turn 13 and enter adolescence. I feel lucky that I get to see you grow up and become the kind-hearted, responsible, witty teenager that you are. I am lucky to see the acorn becoming an oak tree.
Happy birthday Nico. I love you.