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18.

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I made this really fantastically sappy photo montage video for E for his birthday. I was going to put it here today, but since I’m a YouTube Noob, I didn’t factor in a few key issues. So? I can’t show it to you guys. He got to see it last night, but you all will just have to know it involved baby photos backed by Jack Johnson. MANY TEARS WERE SHED.

My kid is officially an adult today.

I don’t talk about his life much here. His trials and tribulations are his and not mine to share. But I feel like I need to at least say this: He is going to be just fine as an adult. He actually had a particularly trying weekend, and he handled it with more grace and dignity than I did.

(I cried a lot.)

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I often wish I could document his life like I used to when he was smaller, just so I could have record of his awesomeness to share with the world. As it is – the record stays in my own memories as long as I can hold them.

Just know this: He amazes me in every way. I find myself at a loss for words to describe him simply because – when I do – it sounds so false. I feel like I’m describing some fantasy kid from a book no one likes because everyone knows that there’s NO WAY a teenage boy exists as awesome as he does in the real world.

Yet he does. His awesomeness is real in so many ways, and I can’t ever seem to describe it without…well…over-using the word “awesome”, obviously.

So I resort to the part of his life I always share here. His life as a brother. He cares for his brother and sister in ways I would have never dreamed. If I had hand-picked a brother for my kids I wouldn’t have chosen one as awesome as E – simply because I wouldn’t have believe it be possible.

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Last night, Nikki was talking about how much she’ll miss E when he goes off to college. “No one plays tricks with me like he does!” And that is just one small little testament to the love those kids have for him. He plays with them in ways his mean parents just don’t have time to do. Even now, when he has a full platter of teen and adult worries to keep him occupied, he still finds time for them. For all of us. He still prioritizes Sunday family dinner as high as possible in his life. He doesn’t keep his phone out during those dinners. He sits at the table with us every night he’s home and participates in our family. He takes me to movies and musicals. He sends me links to new YouTube channels he knows I’ll like. He always gives birthday and Christmas presents that are sincere and personal. He made me a mix CD once and the last track was him saying, “Happy Mother’s Day to the best Mom in the world. Suck on that Nancy Botwin.”

(He knows how much I hate Nancy Botwin.)

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In the sappy video I made him, I described that he changed my life 18 years ago. He put me on a better path, far away from the self destructive journey I had been on before, just by being born. But, he did much more than that in the 18 years since. And now it is time for him to leave my nest and I’m not worried about whether or not he can fly. I know he can. Not because I taught him to fly, but because he is the one who taught me to spread my wings and soar in the skies.

I will never be able to pay him back for that. I am a better person because of him.

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Happy Birthday, E. I love you more than Diet Coke.

28 Comments

28 thoughts on “18.”

  1. And tears at 6:30 as well! Eliah is an old soul with a kind heart and that will take him far in life! YOU DONE GOOD Mama!!! Happy Birthday Eliah!!!!

  2. Happy birthday Lil Z who is not so little but still amazingly awesome! As I read this, I kind of heard the song “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good” in my mind. (from Wicked) You do not give yourself enough credit. He is wonderful, but you are too. You’ve given him the best thing a mama can, the ability to be himself and spread his wings. And what a great thing, because his self is incredible.

  3. This is so incredibly sweet! You know that I don’t comment often Kim, but I’ve enjoyed your blog ever since I found it way back in the early/mid-00’s…I don’t even remember when it was now! But E has grown SO MUCH since you first started blogging, and yes, he DOES seem like an awesome son. :)

  4. It has been an honor and a privilege to watch him grow on this blog. There is no question where his awesomeness is concerned!

  5. Happy Birthday, E! This is just beautiful, Kim. What an amazing kid! What an amazing Mom!

    (You have single-handedly made me really start to look forward to my boy’s teen years.)

  6. So sweet!! Yes, of course I’m sitting here with tears as well. I’m sure Eliah will do awesome things in his life.

    Happy Birthday, Eliah! I’m so glad to have been able to know you through this blog and twitter. You’ve made me smile often. Have an AWESOME birthday! :-)

  7. I will never forget how Eliah impressed me at BlogHer 06 with his thoughtfulness and spunky personality. So, it is not a surprise that he is growing up to be as awesome as you claim (which must be true if you love him more than Diet Coke!)

    Happy birthday, Eliah!!!

  8. Eliah is awesome because YOU are awesome. (So much Awesome in one house! I bet it floats when no one is paying attention!) The happiest of birthdays to him, and Happy Birth Day to you, too!

  9. I always enjoy reading your blog. This one is special – congratulations. Happy Birthday Eliah. (Tears here too.)

  10. I love you so much, Mom! Thank you for not being the type of mother that lives in my closet in the form of moths and kills everyone that touches me. (Still can’t get that movie out of my head.)

  11. Happy birthday, E. It’s been really incredible to see you grow through this blog and a great deal of fun to hear your mama brag on you all the time ;-)

  12. I’m crying. What a wonderful guy he is and the love between the two of you is so obvious. Happy Birthday, E. You are an awesome young man- anyone can tell just from the picture of you with your brother and sister. :)

    This is a hard time for you, Kim. My oldest is a junior in college now and her senior year (I’m just now realizing), I was in a state of constant anxiety. I suffered panic attacks for the first time in my life and I actually had to wear a heart monitor because during a regular physical exam my heart was racing so much (after my doc asked about my daughter’s plans).

    It took a year, but I started to come out of the feeling of panic when I thought of her being “out of the nest”- then she had an internship across the country in the summer. Survived that and now we’ve just found out she will be interning in NYC this summer….by herself….at only 20 years of age. I feel my heart racing as I type this!

    My point of this long rambling (about myself! Sorry!!), is to be kind to yourself, Kim. Know that others have made it through this and you and E will as well.

    Now, I can start fretting about my middle child—16 yo son who is in NO way ready to be away from home. Thank God he has two more years. :)

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