Today, my firstborn son, Ryan, is ten years old. Reflecting, it just seems unbelievable my baby is a decade old. Every parent wonders “where has the time gone?” more than once, during their children’s childhoods, but as I realize I am more than half-way done with raising my son to adulthood- it just seems like the time has flown by.
The moment I found out I was pregnant with Ryan- I realized my life would never be the same- it was a life defining moment. It was never going to just be me from that moment on- I was a mother, and now had a baby to think about too. As I sat in a chair on that spring afternoon, the impact of this hit me, but I could not have fully understood any of it. I could not begin to even imagine what becoming a mother meant- I could not have known the extraordinary love I would experience. The bonding, the feeling that there is something more important than me, and the pure, innocent love, that you can only have for your children, Ryan brought that to my life.
Ryan was an amazing, calm, quiet, reflective, serious, happy baby. Ten years ago, when he was born, I could not have imagined loving him more than I did that day- my pure, sweet, tiny, innocent baby. But as I think about the last ten years, it’s overwhelming- my heart holds more love, compassion, understanding, joy, and happiness, having been Ryan’s mother. He makes me laugh every single day we are together. He is so compassionate, smart, sweet, good-natured, funny, and determined. It has been an absolute pleasure to see him grow from a baby, to a toddler, to a little boy, to a boy, now to a young-man.
I would have never imagined ten years could go by so quickly, and I’m sure the next ten years will fly by too, if not faster. My baby isn’t a baby anymore, and he’s becoming every day, more of who he is supposed to be, with his own thoughts, opinions, hopes, and dreams. As a mother, that is all I could ever hope for him. I want him to be happy. I want him to treat others with respect, and kindness. I want him to know and live the differences between right and wrong. I want him to understand different perspectives, realize how you treat people matters, and to have empathy. But most of all, I want him to be true to himself.
Ten years ago, I was given this perfect little gift. I didn’t know yet what it meant, or what it would become. I still don’t for sure- but the glimpses, I’ve been privileged with, he is beautiful, amazing, loving, and remarkable. My work in raising a son is far from over- but at the decade mark- I could not have hoped or dreamed for a son more than whom Ryan is today. I’m so excited to see him bloom and become the man he is destined to become, in the next ten years.
But for now, I’m going to hold and hug my ten-year old son close and cherish the days of him as boy we have left. Because one day- you never quite know- you wake up and realize, your baby isn’t a baby, your toddler isn’t a toddler, your boy isn’t a boy- they are who they are supposed to be- and they are closer to being an adult than a baby, or even a child. And you feel somehow- someway- you did something right, to have been blessed with this child, who is more than you, and who will be better than you, but is a part of you. A child is life’s finest gift, at times the most challenging, the most important one, and the one that teaches you, your most significant lessons. Ryan has taught me more than I could have imagined, and I know, both my boys are the greatest thing I will have ever done with my life.
Happy Tenth Birthday, Ryan! I love you so much, and I’m so proud of you!