Happy Birthday, my love. Today you are 18 years old. How can you, my first baby, be standing right here on the cusp of adulthood. On the one hand, I am so excited and proud for you. On the other, I am feeling a bit nostalgic for my baby, my big boy, my little man. I feel unprepared, despite the fact that I spent the last 18 years happily preparing you for this. I want to give you a hug and send you on your way to take the world by storm. I want to hug you tight and beg you to never leave. I am so proud of the fact that you are much better prepared for your pending adulthood than I am. Protecting and preparing you has been such a big part of who I am – it’s hard to redefine myself and accept that my job will someday be done. Here is a scary thought for you: will my job ever be done? Will I ever not feel the need to remind you to be safe and healthy? Will I ever not want to drop a kiss on your head as I walk by? It seems unlikely.
Being your mother has been one of the greatest joys of my life. From the moment you were born, you were mine, and nothing would ever change how I feel about you. It has been a joy to watch you mature into a generous, kind, & loving young man. I love talking to you, and am continually impressed by how your mind works. I am so proud of the man that you are becoming. Your dedication to fairness and balance give me hope for the future. May life continue to bring you strength, wisdom, and opportunities. May you be blessed with lots of love (given & received), good health, & the success you desire.