Kim Hudson: The milestones help to celebrate the love

It’s happening again. It happens to me every year – twice a year actually. I turn into this sentimental, nostalgic, overemotional, sappy mom. I try to contain it. But no matter how hard I try I am overtaken every time.

All the moms out there know what I’m talking about, right? That’s right — our children’s birthdays. Something happens to us as that day approaches each year. We are flooded with memories and emotion and we become blubbering fools posting pictures on Facebook and gushing about how wonderful our child is and how proud of them we are.

My son turns 15 next week. I could say the same thing this year that I’ve said the previous 14 – “Wow, he’s (insert age)…how did that happen?”  Celebrating birthdays allows us to forget, at least momentarily, all the negatives that have accompanied the previous year. The eye rolls and attitude that come along with teenagers. The pulling away from mom and dad – such a normal part of growing up but so hard on the parents. The one word responses to whatever question I ask.

Parenting has to be the one job that after 15 years I feel like I know less now than when I started. The rules change every year. And yet it remains the best, most fulfilling, worthwhile role I’ve ever known. So forgive us for gushing and becoming sentimental. Those 364 days leading up to this one were full of joy and conflict, struggle and love. We worry and we worry and we worry. Did I say we worry? So give us the birthday to celebrate and remember all the good, all the milestones, all the laughter, all the accomplishments, all the love.

As my son gets older I find I’m not able to write about some of the issues I’d like to. I try to be considerate of his feelings and privacy. But just know that I’d love to write about dating or talking (or whatever teens are calling it these days). I’d like to share my thoughts on teenage boys and their lack of communication. Or maybe I’d tell you how I worry about the amount of time he actually spends with his family.

I will tell you that for the past three years we’ve celebrated his birthday by camping at the beach. While I’m not much on camping – I really do prefer a bed to a sleeping bag any day – I love that this is how he chooses to spend his day. And, since this is the day to gush and brag – I am so proud of the young man he is becoming.

Kids are a work in progress. Parents are too. As our children get older our excitement of celebrating the milestones turns into panic – no, too strong – uneasiness as they come closer and closer to entering the scary world of adulthood. I have one more year before there is a licensed teenage driver in my home.

So happy birthday to my cute little (taller than me!) curly headed guy! I’ll try not to embarrass you too much.

Contact Kim Hudson at tkhudson@comcast.net.

 

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