I won’t lie. I was scared. Scared beyond words. I didn’t know how to be a mother. I was entrusted with this small life and I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it. The thought of having a baby was a whole lot more fun in my mind than in reality. All of a sudden I had someone in my life that was totally dependent on me and I wasn’t too sure that I liked it all that much. Thankfully, we worked our way through the rough patches that welcomed us and then it was one adventure after another.
19 years ago today you came into my life and as much as I loved you I was so terrified that I was never going to be able to give you what you needed from me. Heck, some days I’m still not so sure that I provide you with what you need. But I’ll tell you something, my ideas have certainly changed a lot over the last 19 years.
Little did I know when you were placed in my arms all those years ago what an amazing journey we would walk together. I know you can’t remember way back then but I remember it like it was yesterday. You were perfect. The most handsome baby I have ever seen.
Before I knew it we were sending you off to preschool.
Then it was off to ‘big school’.
Good grief!! Look how little you were!!
The road we walked was filled with lots of learning along the way – for all of us. As hard and as difficult as your journey was starting school we learned one very important thing. We all learned how strong we were. And are. We learned that by sticking together as a family there is nothing we can’t get through. The tears, the fights, the broken hearts and the constant worrying (on our part) seems like a distant memory now as I sit here and write this thinking about what a truly remarkable young man I have standing in front of me.
Our journey wasn’t just all about heartache and hurt, Matthew. It was about growth. It was about learning how to stand up when you’ve been knocked down and it was about believing in yourself and not settling for anything less than you deserve. Did you always get what you wanted? No. And that’s because it’s not always about what we want. Did you always have what you needed? Absolutely. Because your needs during your school years were all that mattered. There were times when we had to really learn how to compromise with your teachers and the rest of your team and learn to find different ways to have your needs met but at the end of the day we all learned more during your school years than reading, writing and arithmetic. We learned to work together as a team and we learned how to make sure your voice was heard.
This time 19 years ago I was sitting in a hospital room marveling over you. Amazed that someone so small was mine. I couldn’t have ever imagined the way our lives would twist and turn over the last 19 years. Even with all the bumps in the road I wouldn’t trade these last 19 years for anything because of all that I have learned from you. Because of YOU. You have taught me more about life and love than anyone else before. You have taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.
And it fills my heart with pride to look at your growth. Good grief!! These last two years alone have been incredible. You have accomplished so much and grown in ways I couldn’t have imagined. You make me so proud.
Who would have ever thought that just a little over a year after starting volunteering at Two Rivers you’d be standing next to the Mayor receiving and award for your volunteerism?
And then a few short months after this you spent your summer living in a trailer more than you lived at home!
Then it was home to start on your final leg of your schooling. Grade 12.
And the milestones continue at warp speed. Today you turned 19.
Even though I’m saying a lot, there really are no words to adequately express how I feel Matthew. I’ve never doubted for one second that you had so much to offer this world. I’ve always said that. There’s a special place in this world for you, we just had to find it.
I’m glad I was able to help you during your search. Keep doing what you do because truthfully I can’t wait to see what tomorrow is going to bring.
Happy Birthday, bud. I love you.
Until next time…