Ten years ago today, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy. I loved him from the moment that I saw him and while I was overjoyed at being a mother, I didn't cry. For years, that fact bothered me and I often wondered what type of mother I was. I felt as if I was lacking in some area or other because I hadn't cried at the pure joy that becoming a mother was.
I had seen it on countless television shows. I watched as my husband grew tearful, as certain visitors grew tearful. Had seen it at the birth of two of my nephews. I sat there, waiting, wondering, worrying about the tears that didn't fall.
But I pushed those thoughts aside and turned to the little being that filled my life completely. I loved him before I even knew about him. I felt a piece of my soul slip away and I knew that he held it safely in his heart. There is no better feeling than meeting his gaze the moment after he is born and finding a soul that is part of you.
I have watched that little soul grow, watched him make his own choices. Laughed when he laughed. Calmed when he was scared. Comforted when he cried. I embraced being a mother and celebrated each success that he has had.
It has been a roller coaster of emotion being a mother. Highs, lows, stresses, celebrations and trials. A world that is rich in color and emotion and is made richer with each laughter that I hear. It is in those moments that I can stop and listen...feeling again that little piece of my soul that he is keeping safe within him. It is during those moments that all the lows, stresses and tribulations are worth it. The celebrations of the everyday.
Like all mothers, I can safely say that my son is amazing. Intelligent, empathetic, and imaginative, he is as stubborn as his mom and I love that part of him, the part that challenges the norm and asks the question, "Why?" Sure, I don't always like it but I am proud that he is becoming an individual that I can respect.
It is hard to imagine that he is 10. That a decade has passed and I have been there for all of it. I have become a little wiser, have realized many times that I wasn't prepared in some ways to be a mother but I don't think anyone is. I have realized that simply guiding him through his growth is better than steering him in a direction I want him to go.
I have realized that those few moments after he was born, when I didn't cry, didn't mean a thing about me as a mother. It just means that I have saved those tears for the other events where he can see me, his mother, standing there with pride as tears shine brightly in my eyes. (Which he has seen many times already.)
So to my little boy, who isn't so little anymore, I am proud of you, I love you and I celebrate all the little (and big) things that make you who you are. Happy Birthday.