We Celebrate: My Son Turns 14


Dear Bug,

I never thought your fourteenth birthday would fall on the seven-month anniversary of your father’s death. I never thought your fourteenth birthday would fall on the seventh day after your aunt had a heart attack and was lying in a hospital in the ICU. But that’s the thing about life, even the way you came into this world and who you are – they couldn’t be planned, not completely. And the way you handle these events, who you are, your compassion, your spirit, they way you love your family? They make me proud to be your mother.

You are turning into a man with a deepening voice, a shadow above your lip, and the growing patience that comes with maturity. You are uniquely you—inspired to share the details of your every thought and idea, narrate your days, and infect the world with your enthusiasm for the the things you love.

Not all who know you will realize how deeply you feel or understand their emotions, but you are the barometer of this house and the people around you. You feel deeply, whether you want to or not. I know, and I love that you share those feelings with me. I know it sucks sometimes to feel things so strongly.

It breaks my heart every single time I see your face to know that your father is missing this, but I also see him when I look at you, so I know that he’s not truly gone. You have his spirit. You have his drive. You have his compassion. You are so clearly his son, yet clearly still so very you, and I am so very proud of you.

Happy 14th Birthday, Bug!