Thing 1


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.


62 thoughts on “12.”

  1. That is the sweetest thing ever. What an amazing relationship you two have. Gonna go grab my Kleenex.

    Love the slideshow.

    Happy 12th Birthday Lilz!

  2. More than diet coke! Wow! Happy Birthday, LilZ! Twelve already!! One more year until you’re OFFICIALLY a teenager!

    Nice tribute, Mom. So I’m taking these birthdays don’t get much easier from here on out? Duly noted.

  3. How touching! LilZ sounds like a wonderful kid! You two have a great connection that will continue to grow as he gets older.

  4. Happy Birthday, LilZ!!! You have such a great mom and I am sure you know that.

    This was a beautiful tribute to you and to your relationship with your mom.

    Zoot, watching that slideshow, I’ve decided that you DO. NOT. AGE. Wow! Great photos.

  5. aw, this one made me cry …

    you are such a great mom, and from someone who has a great relationship with her dad as an adult (adult parent-adult child relationship) … it sounds likes you and LilZ will only get closer.
    Happy Birthday LilZ!!!!!

    12?! Holy Crapola.

  6. Happy Birthday, LilZ! Hope you’ve had a fun day!

    I have to say y’all’s relationship reminds me of my relationship with POD (my sister). We like a lot of the same things as well and I just hope it stays that way.

  7. Happy Birthday LilZ! I hope each one is better than the one before.

    That was an awesome tribute to your son, Zoot. I really enjoyed the pictures. You are a great mother.
    I haven’t been reading blogs as much lately because I am in the midst of breast cancer treatment. The reason I’m telling you this is because you have so many readers out there and I hope you and they are doing breast self-exams each month. It’s so very important.
    I want to wish you and yours a belated Happy New Year.

  8. Well that last line says it all. He can never question your love for him after that! But the whole thing was beautiful. You’re the coolest mom, and you have the coolest kids.

  9. Happy Birthday, LilZ!

    And, by the way? Can you please tell your mom to knock it off? ‘Cause she totally made me cry & I can’t remember where I packed the damn kleenex.

  10. Happy Birthday, LilZ! Best of luck being 12. From what your mom says, you’ve handled 0-11 with amazing skill, so I’m sure you will do just fine.

  11. Happy Birthday LilZ and I just wanted to say that was a beautiful slide show, very touching! You two have a great relationship and I don’t think that will ever change! You’re both very lucky and blessed!

  12. That was amazing. The weird thing is that I could have written that word for word to my own son who is 12 and I was 19 when I had him. He too is amazing and loving. Only thing different is that he has a little brother that’s 18 months, not a sister! Mom of the year goes to you!

  13. Happy birthday LilZ! You sound like the most awesome kid, I mean guy, or somewhere in between! And Zoot, way to make me CRY!

  14. Happy Birthday, LilZ! If my children end up being half as good and cool as you are, I would be one proud Mama.

  15. Happy Birthday LilZ!!!

    You’re a great mom, Zoot…Blessed with great kids ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great pics!

    “I love you more than Diet Coke”…HA!

  16. Happy Happy Birthday from Keisha to LilZ I wish it was my birthday so I could party too! Keep smiling you are blessing to people’s lives that you have never even met that’s a wonderful thing. Peace and Blessings and many more birthdays to come.

  17. Vast and unending best wishes to LilZ on his Birthday.
    Much respect, wee man, keep being awesome, you’re good at it ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Happy Birthday Lil Z

    You are such a handsome boy.

    Miss Zoot, that was such a beautiful entry. You had me in tears.

    Love reading your blog

    Los Angeles

  19. omg, LilZ……i am so very sorry we didn’t call you yesterday on your bday! i love you w/ all my heart, and you know ariel does, too! i hope we talk to you tonight!

    and zoot? that was beautiful!

  20. Aww, *tear* That’s amazing, you can just see it in his eyes that he’s a truly fantastic person. My mother in law says the same thing about my husband, that he was just born that way. Here’s hoping I get so lucky as you and she were. Happy birthday LilZ

  21. I hope, that when I have a child I have the same relationship with him or her as you do with LilZ. He is going to make a woman a very wonderful husband one day becuase his mama did him well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. This was sooo sweet! It’s amazing how time flies and they grow, isn’t it? Your relationship with him is amazing. Happy birthday LilZ!

  23. What a fantastic letter. I usually write something like this for my kids on the first day of school.

    what is it about 12 year olds and their towels…geesh!! i almost cry when I think that in six years they will be gone!!

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