My Dearest Joshua (previously known on this blog as Mr Smarty Pants thinks he Knows it all 16, and 17 yo )
There are times in a mother’s life when she cannot help but wonder by what grace of which powers that be she is lucky enough to be blessed with children of high-caliber and excellent character.
Whether or not her children are truly of excellent character, a mother does indeed think at one point or another they are of the best. It is a phenomenon, similar to beer goggling, not often discussed for then there are some mothers who would be forced to realize it was their child or children who are not considered to be those who really will be someone to look up to and someone admired and desired as a friend, companion and part of the crowd by society.
The timing of these moments of wonder and awe often, oddly enough coincide with the days that mark a milestone in said child’s life and are usually also filled with gratitude that we did not manage to completely derail the child’s growth, personal developement and very survival for another year.
On the day that child goes chronologically from a child to adult, the occasion of their 18th birthday, one may often find the particular mother either on her knees thanking the grand schemer of the universe for allowing her to succeed in spawning, teaching, nurturing and kicking out to the world a productive member of society, or possibly getting quite drunk to celebrate the same occasion.
I suppose it would depend on that mother’s preference or the place in life she has come to when her child reaches the age of 18 with very little damage and the ability to still say “I love you Mom”. and “thanks Mom”
I haven’t quite decided, although it is getting on in the day, how to approach this day, whether on my knees in gratitude or a little shit-faced.
Both options have their appeal, and their drawbacks as well. We are not here today to discuss my path to celebration however, but the miracle of your survival. I cannot say if we, like the guppies, ate our young whether you would be one of the fortunate offspring who avoided getting gulped, you have that kind of special place in my heart I would like to think yes of course. The problem being, if indeed we ate our young, then having a place in my heart may not have been enough to save you, after all with six of you, someone had to go…
Lucky for me, that is a what if scenario and no need to continue because it is not what is.
I decided write you a letter. And then post it on my blog, on the internet, so it is always here for you to refer to and to prove your mother is indeed intelligent and can write, as well as formerly wearing combat boots should you ever have to defend me to some idiot saying different.
Someday, if not today, it will I hope, be dear to you, as it is all I have to give you to mark the passing of your childhood and welcome you to the world of being a grown up. My words, my affection, my undying devotion and while you have those every single day of your life, even the ones we did not speak to each other, and the ones you pissed me off, I do not tell you often enough, how very dear you are to me and how proud I am to be your mother.
You have had some times when it seems you were derailed and had taken the wrong path and were not going to amount to much according to popular thought. It pissed me off to hear that as it would any mother I am sure, more than it pissed me off you were like a fish out of water, floundering and flopping around.
It made no sense to me to give up on a boy, not yet a man and responsible for his own decisions, because he made a few mistakes.
That my dear, was your job. Just as it was your job as a small child to play. That is the work of growing up and becoming a man and you did it rather well. Being your mother, and recognizing you as I do, I may have yelled and ranted and raged and even clocked you a time or two, but I never, not for one minute gave up on you.
And I never will.
I knew when you were ready, you would head toward the man you have become and will continue to grow to be. It had to be you that wanted it. Not me, your father, grandparents, siblings… only you could find who you are.
Who you will become is your choice, you have free will, and the power, as well as the intelligence and intestinal fortitude your mother…the good Lord gave you, and a shitload of potential you still are not even aware of.
I was going to give you some advice, to welcome you to this place called life as an adult, stuff like;
- share your toys
- don’t take it all too seriously
- the grass is greener where you spread the most manure
- a bird in hand is worth 2 pigs – 5 if you are really lucky…
- find joy and gratitude in every day
- it’s not always just a flesh wound and you can back down every now and again
- no man is an island
you know stuff…
but that has never been my way up until this point. I always thought is was more fun parenting philosophy to wait til you figured stuff out on your own before offering my advice and really tried hard not to tell you what to do in a way that deterred your heart’s desire.
The truth is, it’s all downhill from here in the adult world but being able to be friends with your parents and take your life into your own hands is one of the most wonderful gifts of this day.
I will always be your mom and more than that, I will always be your friend and your number one fan. You can also always, no matter what, come home. You have grown into a fine young man, of excellent character and you are smart and funny and handsome.
You are 18 today and technically a grown man, but my dear son, you will always be my little boy.