Sweet 16

Years ago after my first pregnancy test turned positive, I started writing in a little blue journal. I wrote consistently in it for nine months, then also in the weeks, months and years after too. I wrote about what I craved, about OB appointments where I heard fetal heartbeats and saw black and white ultrasound pictures of this tiny person. I wrote about the flutterings and kickings of a "little soccer player" growing in my belly, and how I couldn't wait to meet him or her. In-between the journal pages, I saved cards and various copies of emails from Matthew, who also expressed anticipation in meeting this baby of ours. In these pages I detailed my pregnancy and then the amazing birth of our son Brayden, and then all the milestones and life happenings including his first words, first bike ride, first day of school, time with family and friends. 

As the years passed, the sleepless nights, dirty diapers and temper tantrums soon turned into preschool playdates, new scooters and football themed birthday parties. Which then turned into grade school science projects, impossible math homework and countless soccer practices. So much of my life, detailed via words in this journal, was spent consumed with loving, protecting, nurturing and keeping this boy close to me.

Flash forward to today, when the baby I wrote about on those first few pages of that journal somehow went and turned 16. Blowing up balloons in the kitchen for him earlier, I wonder, "Wasn't he just 2, blowing out the candles on his Wall-E cake? Didn't he just have that superhero birthday party, begging to wear his Ironman costume all day? When did he outgrow the John Deere riding toy he drove around our backyard in every day for years?"

Many journal pages ago I guess.

So this 16-year-old kid gets to trade in his learner's permit for a real Arizona driver's license and finally take off in that special first car birthday present that's been waiting for him in the garage for a few months now. With each birthday, this smart, funny, athletic, talented boy goes further and further out into the world, despite his momma wanting desperately to hang onto him a bit longer. It's getting hard to keep hold. So I'll keep writing about my love for him and his sisters and about the love I continue to have for his dad, who gave me the greatest gift of motherhood 16 years ago today.

Happy birthday Brayden, to heaven and back,

xoxo, Mom


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