Dear LilZ –
12 years ago today, you were born and my life has been beyond blessed since. If you could have chosen a woman to be born to, I’m guessing the 19-year-old emotionally unstable Me would not have been your first choice, but because I became a Mom on that day, I left many parts of that person behind. Making me a much better mother for you, and now for your sister.
At every point in your life, I’ve had people – friends, family, strangers – make a point to tell me how fantastic of a kid you are. And I always say the same thing: He was born that way. Because you were. You were a laid-back baby who rarely fussed, you never went through the terrible twos (there was the one time you covered my bedroom with scented lotion and hid your poop from me, but lets blame that on your friend Ariel, okay?), and you’ve always been respectful and polite. I know a lot of people think that makes me a good Mom, but I always feel like that takes a lot of the credit away from you. You are simply and amazing person. I think I’m a good Mom, but that is not why you are amazing. You simply are.
You have always been the kid who feels bad for the kids that get picked on. You want to protect those who can’t protect themselves. You are kind. You are sensitive. And you are really damn funny.
Pretty much from the day MrZ and I decided to get married, you wanted to be a big brother. You hated the phrase “Only Child” and dreamed of the day when you could say, “Oldest Child” instead. With every pregnancy loss, and every month that went by when we failed to have another child, I hurt for YOU more than I hurt for ME. When I had the clot when I was pregnant with NikkiZ, I kept telling her, “Please. Please. Please make it through this. You have an amazing boy wanting to be your big brother. You have to meet him.” There is the romantic side of me that thinks she understood and that’s why she stuck it out.
Everyone is amazed by how good you are with NikkiZ. Where I am happy with it – it doesn’t amaze me – because I expected nothing less. You’ve always been good with children smaller than you and the love you have for your sister shows with every second you spend with her. The fact that you two will be close means so much to me because I have turned to my brother for so much support as an adult. And I hope I have provided the same support to him. The fact that you and she will have that resource in each other forever, makes me beyond happy.
LilZ – as you get older – we argue over more things. You want a cell phone, I want you to hang up your towel. You want to go out with your friends, I want you to hang out with me. You want to watch scary movies and I am hiding in the bathroom afraid the monsters are going to get me. I am glad to see you developing your own taste books, movies, and music. Where I’m totally thrilled when they overlap (books, music, some TV) and am also happy when they don’t because it’s proof you are developing into a unique person, away from me.
When I have to tell you “no” to something you want, it breaks my heart because I want nothing more than to make you happy. I hope you don’t spend too much time sulking over not getting those things, but more importantly, I hope someday you’ll understand.
Thank you for still being someone I can hang out with. I know it gets harder for you as you get older and I get less cool, but it means so much to me. I love sitting around and watching TV together, I love dancing to music with you, I love playing with your sister in your room. I hope we continue to do those kind of things together even as you get older, but I understand if they fade away. I mean, I think I’m totally awesome, but some day, I’m sure you won’t see that.
But until then – I’ll savor every moment we have as friends. You are amazing and I hope I never make you doubt that. You have given me gifts in my life I’ll never know how to thank you for. So, I just try to be the best mother I can. I owe you at least that.
Happy Birthday, Son. I love you more than Diet Coke.