My baby turned 13 today. It's a big milestone. A completely overwhelmingly MASSIVE bloody milestone.
It does not seem possible that 13 years have passed since I held that brand new life in my arms and wept with pure joy.
I remember my Dad telling me in the early days "It will go so fast squirt, enjoy every moment for what it is and don't keep thinking about what comes next". He was so right... yes yet again. It does go fast. It DID go fast Dad.
I am so proud of the boy that Kai has turned out to be. His heart and his spirit knows no limits and his gentle appreciation for everyone in his life is inspiring. He cares hard and he feels even harder - two traits that the protective mama bear in me fears will one day lead to a broken heart, but two traits I would not wish for him to change. Not one single iota.
As a parent, you are always thinking about your role in this child's life. What it is that the Universe / God or whatever it is you believe in has entrusted you to teach this child. It is so easy to get caught up in our own questioning that sometimes we forget that these little souls are sent here to teach us something as well.
We need to be open to those lessons, live them and learn them for they are our way forward.
As I reflect upon the 1st 13 years of my relationship with my precious first born, I realise that in such a short time, he has already taught me so much.
Kai my beautiful boy, you have taught me;
That you cannot learn to be a mother by reading a big fat parenting book. It is a mixture of instinct, fear, pride and gut feelings that will guide you through. In the meantime I need to keep that big fat useless parenting book out of reach, as you and your brothers discovered pretty early on just how good a weapon it can be when you chuck it at your brother's head.
You taught me that patience is a must. That short cuts often lead to dead ends and that all good things are worth the wait. You also taught me that spicy burritos and hot curries do not (as the magazines tell you) bring on child birth, but they will give you awful flatulence during labour.
You taught me that through pain, you grow. Through fear you find courage. And that worrying will do nothing more than turn your hair grey much earlier than you expected.
You taught me that time waits for no one. It moves fast, sometimes too fast and to truly appreciate life for the gift that it is, you must make time stand still. The ONLY way you can do that is to be completely present in the moment.
You taught me that not only must a parent's eyes always be open (which they will be because there ain't much sleep in this parenting gig), it is important that you allow your eyes to rest on the little things that most often go unnoticed, for they are crucial pieces of the bigger picture and will one day become the cement that binds your memories.
You taught me to speak what it is that is in your heart, and to try not to fear judgement. Say what you feel and say it now. You taught me that you should never leave someone guessing about what you are thinking and that "I love you" are words that should never remain silent.
You taught me that magic 100% without a doubt exists and will continue to exist as long as one continues to believe.
You taught me that miracles are not just mere tales of fiction.
You taught me that little people turn into bigger people, but no matter how big they become - they will always fit in their mother's arms.
You taught me to forgive and that mistakes are OK, in fact they are more than OK - they are a necessary part of becoming who you are destined to be.
Most importantly Kai, you taught me that love has no conditions. There is no "I love you ... but" in true unconditional love. There is love. Just love. And that thing called love is single handedly THE most important thing in life.
Happy Birthday my precious son. I love you to the moon and back and back again with zero limits. And in the bumpy years ahead, try to stay true to yourself. Explore all there is to explore but try not to wander too far from the path you have already paved.
One last thing my sweet boy - never forget your way back to your mama. No matter how big and boyishly awkward you get, you will always find room within in my arms.
Any advice for this newly crowned mum of a teenager?