Motherhood 101: Happy Anniversary


My son has turned 21, but I am unclear how it is that I have a child who is 21 years old. I feel like I just had him, which would make me 30, but here I am at 50, enjoying every moment with the wonderful human being I have raised. We went out for a special dinner at N/Naka to celebrate. It was 13 courses of perfection and ended with the chef coming out to wish my boy a happy birthday and talk about food. It was a great evening with a surprise finish.

As we ended our three-hour dinner, my son gave me a card. It was a 21st Anniversary card to mark my years as a mother. He wrote a lovely note about how thankful he was for me and our life together. It was such a kind and thoughtful gesture that I was in shock for a solid 30 seconds before I started to cry. He gave me the card with some beautiful flowers that I didn’t even notice until he was giving them to me.  I will treasure the card always.

My life is defined by motherhood. I have had an amazing journey. I’ve travelled, met wonderful people, known love, excelled professionally, and built a life I am proud of for my son and myself, but nothing matters as much as he does. He is my heart and as a mother I have sometimes struggled with my choices, worried if I was doing a good job. I have crossed my fingers and prayed many times over the past twenty-one years that I don’t screw my kid up.

When I read my anniversary card I cried because I was touched, but I was also relieved. I have raised a remarkable human being and I did it on my own. He is kind, compassionate, smart, funny, aware, and generous of spirit. I look at my son with real pride and joy. There were mistakes of course, but for my son to look at me as an adult, and say thank you, I feel accomplished in a profound way. It was a great birthday and a great anniversary. I am truly blessed.

Being a single mother has challenges and blessings only a single mother can understand. I think we probably cry more, certainly scream more, undoubtedly pray more, and perhaps are even blessed more. As my son begins packing to move out, and for the first time since he made the choice to go out on his own, I am fine with it. Proud he is ready to go, not sad he is leaving. Mazel Tov to my boy and to me for being so close and for always keeping the faith.

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