I can remember quite vividly the birth of my first child. I was so young. Only 18 years old, and only three months past that milestone. I had yet to vote, I had yet to drink in a bar but there I was giving birth.
It was a long labour, as first labours can be. 19 and a half hours, as I enjoy reminding him from time to time, and then they placed you in my arms. Warm, wrapped up tightly and we locked eyes and my heart split for the first (but not the last) time. Part of it was now owned by you.
You were the sweetest, most loving little boy there ever was. Everyone loved you. You delighted everyone you met. You brought your Dad and I together. There was no one who met you who wasn’t smitten with you instantly.
You were, and still sometimes are, so quiet. You take things in. You take your time contemplating them and feeling them out. You know how to be still. Sometimes being quiet has not fared you well. Sometimes I would have preferred if you had found your voice and used it, but, I think that lessons were learned which were meant to be learned.
You’re not that little boy with the shining hazel eyes anymore. You’re a man now. You’re taller than me. You’re strong and resilient and proud. And I am proud of you.
Today, you are 21. A whole world away from that first moment in the hospital in Fergus where you first made your appearance. A lifetime.
I can’t wait to see what you make of your future. I can’t wait for those moments when I can watch you take your dreams and run far with them.
I can’t believe you’re older than I was when we first met.
I love you, my little bear. From then, till now, and until time itself runs dry. Happy Birthday