My son celebrates his 23rd birthday today ... how incredibly fast 23 years have flown by. I can remember every tiny detail of the day he was born... the day that made me a mother for the rest of my life... the day that since has given me reasons for laughter and tears and hope and despair and teasing and sorrow... but through it all... and looming larger than any of those things... is the love.
He's a young man now... no longer my 'little guy'... but he will always be my baby. He no longer drags around his blankie or his dinosaur... but when I look at him, I can still see that child in him... shadowed behind the man he is becoming. I am so proud of where he is today... of who he's become... of what he's accomplishing with his life. I'm pleased and surprised when I see bits of myself in him... and relieved beyond measure when I see that there are some parts of me that he hasn't inherited.
The letting go is difficult... but the blessing in that is that he's still here even without anything holding him here. We end practically every encounter with an "I love you" and he doesn't seem remotely embarrassed by that. He watches me... alert for any sign of MS trouble... the protector. He knows me extremely well... from the inside out... and he cares. My daughter's goal is to find a man just like her brother.... what greater compliment could there be.
I found out he was going to be a part of my life during Thanksgiving week in 1985... and I've been thankful ever since... thankful and amazed that such an incredible young man was sent to shine light into my world... to show me what love is really all about. It's not all sunshine and bluebirds... but it's always full of wonder and a joy that circumstances can't steal.
Matthew...whose name means 'gift of God'... he has always been that... a very cherished gift.