March 1st was my oldest sons 18th birthday, it has taken me a day or so to get this post written.
How do you express the feelings of a Mother for her first born? Sweet wasn't sweet until I watched him enthusiastically gum his first lollipop. Sour was never the same after watching his little face contort, and sharing that involuntary little 'sour shiver' the first time he tasted lemon.
We have shared so many firsts, the incredible explosion of joy as his first fluttering movements, just below my heart, brought him to my awareness. That marathon week of a first labor; as difficult for him as for me. I can still feel the overwhelming love that suffused my entire being at the sight of his cone shaped head and brilliant blue eyes. I have never before or since experienced such a clarifying moment; everything I thought I knew, thought I was, became insignificant in that instant. I was a mother, he, my child, no power in heaven or earth could loose those bonds.
For 18 years we have expanded, hand in hand, the definition of our Mother/child relationship. I was determined to be the best mother in the world, he, the best son, we have failed over and over again. Yet in our consistency of failure lies our sweet success.
I was determined to be the scheduled mother that I judged mine was not, I rocked my 18 month old to sleep at 10:00AM each morning, I woke him at 1:00PM to feed him lunch, we ran errands or played until 4:00PM when I rocked him to sleep again, he slept until 7:00PM, we ate dinner played with Daddy, back to sleep at 10:00PM. At 1:00 AM, right on my sleep three hours wake three hours schedule, he woke up...for three long hours, we shared stories, movies, late night feedings with his little brother. We became fast friends.
On the morning of his 18th birthday I asked him to run across the street to grab a pair of work boots I needed as an object lesson at church. He glared at me with all the self-righteous adultishness he could muster and muttered, "You could have taken care of this yesterday."
I snorted an incredulous laugh, "I wouldn't be talking, Mr. Scramble to Graduate!" I retorted, full of Momish self-righteousness.
"Uh-huh, now we know where I got it!" He zinged back.
I taught him well, he is a unique blend of my most annoying strengths and beautiful weaknesses. (Yes, I wrote that right).
He's an adult now, legally his own man; but, always and forever my first born son, and our definition of that relationship continues it's living journey, heart in heart.