Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Birthday Wishes For My Son

Becca, Tristan, Baby Ezra and I
Sometimes I wonder if these birthday blogs are worth writing. Only one out of my three kids expresses gratitude. Which is fine. All three of my kids have different personalities and I accept each of them unconditionally. 

I started writing these birthday blogs after the year of funerals. That’s what I’ve dubbed 2008. During the many eulogies I listened to I wondered if the heartfelt sentiments were expressed when the person was alive.

In the midst of grief and regret we grow the balls we need to vocalize what we should have said when it mattered. Simple words. I love you. I’m sorry. I’m proud of you. You guys are the best things that have happened to me.

See? Why are those words so damn hard to say in the drudgery of our daily lives?

That’s why I write these birthday blogs to my kids. Because days go by when I don’t call, text, or e-mail them. Months go by without my telling them how proud I am for who they’ve become. They only hear my whining and complaints.

Like with Tristan.

Dude, seriously, CLEAN YOUR ROOM!
Helloooo can you answer my texts!? Ugh!
Your cell phone bill is due. Pay up!
Oh hell naw you blocked me on Instagram?!
Okay, really, you REALLY NEED TO CLEAN YOUR ROOM!

I could buy a birthday card, I know. But the last time I dropped a good chunk of change on a card for someone I saw it lying on the floor discarded like a used Kleenex during flu season. So screw writing my heart out on a card.

Tristan,

Today you turn 23 years old. Yes, I do want you to learn to clean and I totally failed for not beating that in your head when you were younger. I still have hope, though.

But let’s not focus on the negative. It’s your birthday. And I know we have a hard time talking about our emotions or getting all sappy with one another. 

You think I don’t know but I’m your mama and I'm like the CIA. I find out information you think I'll never know. Yep, and I've got people reporting to me. I heard how well you do at your job working with the mentally challenged. It takes a special person to work with patients let alone those who have intellectual disabilities. You already know I couldn’t be a nurse like your sister and I surely couldn’t do what you do.

I’ve been told that you’ve been assigned the most challenging member to care for and you handle him/her efficiently, with compassion and the utmost patience. It’s not easy, I know. I’m sure you have your bad days, too. It's not lost upon me the significance of your job responsibilities especially when I'm here whining about being enslaved in the cube farm. 

So let me just say this, I am proud of you, Trey. Like above and beyond, proud. No cheesy birthday card could convey my admiration for how you've excelled at your job. 

It might not seem that I notice anything but I love how your relationship with Becca has helped you both grow in positive ways. Don't worry, I won't post photos of you playing guitar during church worship, or the video of you in the Les Miserable skit at church. 

It's funny, I was 23 years old when I had you. I doubt your 23rd year will be filled with chaos, uncertainty, and angst like mine was. 

My birthday wishes for you this year are geared toward your continual growth and maturity. That you will always have that gentle soul no matter what anyone says. I'm proud of the way you defended Becca's dad when he was being verbally attacked. I know I wasn't there but I heard. Oh, how I heard and how my heart filled with gratitude that you've learned to handle conflict without aggression. 

You're almost a foot taller than I am but in my mind I still spank you and hug you and would put you on my lap if I could! LOL! 

Make this year an even better one than the last. And remember, embrace the bad things, those perceived failures, because those are the tools you'll need for success. Life is about living and living is about enduring the good, the bad, and the ugly. It took me over 40 years to figure that out so I'm giving you that nugget of wisdom now. 

Happy Birthday to you, Trey! 

Love, Mom

P.S. Now, could you please clean your room?