Happy Birthday

This weekend my son will turn 14.  I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday, yet I barely remember things that happened before he came.  It’s strange.  I can recall details of his life, but my childhood has faded.  I suppose that’s normal when you have kids.  My memories are marked in terms of his life.  He is pure sunshine and my life got infinitely better when I had this child.  I am blessed to be his mother, and proud to call him friend.

When he was two, he tried to stick something in a wall socket.  I raced over and slapped his hand.  He got scared and cried.  I remember it vividly.  To this day, if he gets in trouble, he’ll say: “remember when you hit me?”  It cracks us up every time.  When he was little he’d say he wanted to marry me when he grew up.  I remember the day he stopped wanting to marry me, and changed it to he wanting to marry someone just like me.  He was growing up.

He tells me I’m beautiful, thinks I’m funny, does his chores and is a wonderful student.  He is a loyal friend, compassionate and tolerant.  He appreciates that his life is blessed, supports the underdog and is hilarious.  He is giving an Aliyah tomorrow to mark the 1 year anniversary of his Bar Mitzvah. He is not Jewish just because he was simply born into it.  He is Jewish because he has chosen it and I am very proud of that.

This weekend I will have ten 14 year old boys sleeping over.  They will watch movies and wrestling.  They will eat every single crumb of food in my home.  They will stay up way too late killing Nazis and having video game challenges. I will be holed up in my room listening to them talk and laugh.  They are a remarkable group of young men and always make me laugh.  Talking to them teaches me something new and makes me look at things in a different way.

I always wanted to be a mother.  When I was a little girl it was my dream.  I had my son when I was 30 and in all those years of wanting to be a mother, I never imagined it would be this great or this hard.  My own mother had 4 kids by the time she was 26. I marvel at how hard it must have been.  With each moment that I love my child I think about my mother and how much she loved all of us.  It makes me love her even more.

I guess all I really wanted to say today was that I love my son.  This weekend he will become a full-fledged teenager, preparing for high school and a blink away from getting his driver’s license.  The time is flying by.  I welcome everyday with a full heart.  I watch him and see my life is glorious.  I don’t worry that as he ages, so do I.  I am excited for him to grow up and feel fortunate that I get a front row seat to his life.

I look forward to his driving lessons, high school applications, and first job.  I can’t wait to dance at his wedding and spoil his children.  With each of those milestones I will be older and for a lot of them I will be just plain old.  Wish me well this weekend!  Say a prayer for my neighbors as they are going to suffer through the party with me.  The next four days are jam packed with activities and celebrations and I can’t wait.  Happy Birthday to my boy!

Shabbat Shalom.  This weekend, when I can barely stand all the noise, and want to vacuum while they sleep because there is food all over the floor, I will count my blessings and keep the faith.