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This week has been emotional on so many levels, the most notable being my first borns 18th birthday. The day had me reflecting back on the Tuesday morning he was born, weighing in at 3.98kg, with the angry wails of a newborn being separated from the most comforting space in the world. In that instant we went from two married individuals to being parents bound by this little bundle filled with joy and promise.
I can vividly remember the first moment I held you and was struck with a love so powerful and an instinct to protect at all costs- and our bond was instantly formed. We were very young parents, and did the best we could, ensuring at all times you felt loved and safe, yet confident enough to navigate your way in the world. It has been a privilege to watch you develop into the young man, who gives us grief, debates and tests boundaries. A young man who is aware of himself, who has learnt so much about the person he is, and at the same time being perfectly happy with who he has become, the good and the bad. In today’s society, teenagers are their own worst enemies, self-bashing and self-hating that it’s refreshing to come across one who has a healthy self image. Our bond is precious, and I take comfort in the fact that you seek my advice, and that I am privileged to share in so many of your first milestones.
I pray that you remain as authentic and real as you are, I pray that your values instilled in you guide on your journey and I pray that your path brings you happiness and contentment IA.
I have been struggling with this post, mainly because this is quite a milestone in my own life as much as his. While he enters adulthood, I will be a parent to a young adult, the implications of this is that he will be making his own life choices, independent of me. I will learn to send him on his way in so many endeavours, and hold the faith in the person I know him to be. I will learn to trust that he represents himself in the best way, and if he encounters mistakes, that he learns the lessons it was meant to bring. It’s those lessons I would want to protect him from, shield him from the hurts and disappointments of the world. The reality is, I know that is his path, I understand that those hardships will grow character and strengthen him, so I will send him on his way.
I will be a shoulder when he needs it, a sounding board, a shopping buddy and I will leave him to find his way. As hard as it may be, we will support him in all his endeavours, all of them on his path away from our protection. Parenting gets more challenging as your charges become more independent, you no longer have the ability to keep them home, choose their playdates and manage their diets. You realise that you become the support structure for them to build their own lives, while they determine their future plans. I am hopeful to remain as integral in your future life as I currently am.
Happy 18th my boy!
|2013 overseas trip|
|I was privileged to give you your first driving lesson|
|Family outings have become less frequent|
|The bond with your brothers are special|
|Sending you off to your matric farewell|
|Your first birthday|
Ciao for now,