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Sunday, June 7, 2015

My son turns 18 today!

Josh, my firstborn turns 18 today - yet another epic milestone in his life and mine. As of today, I am now officially the mother of an adult. How did this happen so quickly?
I am not going to lie and say that I enjoyed every second of his growing up for eighteen years. Oh, we had plenty of imperfect moments. At times, I felt like strangling him when he was hellbent on making me murderous and pissing me off. I am sure we drove our neighbors crazy with our shouting matches! And I am most certain, he was the cause of that perpetual scowl on my face! But I am going to congratulate myself and him for coming out of this turbulent journey to adulthood alive, unscathed and sane!

What do I write about this amazing young man who brings out the best and worst in me? He's the most compassionate person I know. He's generous, accommodating, tenacious, considerate, smart and funny though his younger brother, Rodney, will tell you differently. But even with Rodney, his greatest foe, I’ve witnessed acts of fierce  protectiveness and support when needed.

I believe Josh's best qualities, his compassionate heart and thoughtfulness will serve him well in life. The first time I noticed these qualities was when he was three - we were at the traffic lights when a turtle from a nearby pond was crossing the road behind us and a car rolled over it. Josh cried his eyes out and was inconsolable until we convinced him that the turtle was having a better life in turtle heaven. On his 4th birthday, he requested for a pair of terrapins. At the pet shop, he chose a blind terrapin and another deformed one. Josh insisted on bringing them home 'cos he figured that if we didn't, no one would buy them and he couldn't bear the thought of them languishing in the pet store.  Once, while walking down a street, we stumbled upon a lifeless rat. Josh stopped short , closed his eyes and clasped his wee hands in prayer over the dead rodent! Bless his little heart! And when he was in first grade, he would queue up every single day at the canteen to buy food for his disabled classmate. I see the same compassion in this young man still. Josh actively contributes his time and effort to volunteerism and community services. He teaches kids from war-torn countries at a refugee camp. He intends to volunteer his service at an animal shelter during his coming semester break.

If I could rewind time, which part would I play over and over again? It would most definitely be the stage between toddler and boy. And I would most certainly skip the mid teenage phase!  Shudder!

My perfect moments? When he made me my first Mother's Day gift? The times when he would accompany me everywhere  and didn't think that hanging out with mom wasn't uncool?When he bought me cookie cutters with the prize money he won in the first contest he entered? It's kinda hard to qualify some moments as better than others. Just the other day, I visited his former high school to collect his certificates and the teachers were telling me what a fine young man Josh turned out to be. His school counselor congratulated me for raising him well! That, for me, was my most perfect moment, the culmination of 18 years of parenting.

This young man has tested my mettle, grown me in patience and strengths I never thought I had in me. I guess the time has come to cut the apron strings - to let my baby go and grow independently no matter how much it hurts.

Happy 18th Birthday, son!

13 comments:

betty said...

Happy birthday to your son, Veronica! What a great tribute you wrote about him, especially with his compassion and care about all creatures and people :) It is so hard when they turn 18 and you are so right, where did the time go? We had tough years with son, TOUGH years, but at his high school graduation I did tell him I would do it all again, the good, the bad, the ugly. The years just fly by no matter how much we want to stop them. I think you and your husband raised a fine young man; he will do well in life :)

betty

Steph said...

Happy happy 18th birthday to R. What an amazing mom you are for raising such an amazing young man. :) He will do so well in the next phase of his life because of what you have taught him. You should be proud. Bask in the compliments! All the best to R!!!! xoxo

Hena Tayeb said...

Oh wow.. happy 18 to your son!

Jessica Groesbeck said...

Happy 18th birthday to Josh!! Reading your stories about him brought tears to my eyes. I hope I can raise my daughter to be compassionate and caring too. Sounds like you did a good job raising him!! xo

Melanie said...

What a great post about your son. Happy Birthday, Josh!

Rosemary Nickerson said...

Veronica! A job well done! You made it, both of you. I remember photos of Josh as a small boy, when we were both beginning bloggers. He's making us both old by becoming a man in his own right. Happy birthday, Josh. Enjoy your life as a free man.

Jill said...

Happy birthday to your son! Sounds like he has a kind and caring heart :-) Have a wonderful evening.

Blessings
,Jill

Lin said...

WOW! I can't believe he is 18 already!

But...guess what? He is not grown up yet. He is not really an "adult" yet either. It takes them a few more years until their brains are fully done developing and they still come to you for help. And then they will always be your kids too--no matter what age they are.

So, yeah, he's 18...but he is not done needing his mom yet.

He sounds like a wonderful young man. I wish him much happiness and luck with the exciting years ahead. Is there any decision on if he is coming to the States?

Eva at Kid Minds said...

Happy 18th Birthday to your son and YOU! I can't even imagine at this point with my little ones what that will feel like to me! But thanks for the warning about teenage years! And thank you for the beautiful quote. I pinned it

Inside The Fox Den said...

Time certainly does fly by! Happy birthday to your son! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday, hope to see you again tomorrow night!

alissa apel said...

He sounds like a stand up kind of guy. I love your stories about the animals.

Teenage years are hard. I teach college level. There's some that just really struggle with their parents. They want to be grown up, but are still kids in a lot of ways.

Mama De Verdad said...

Congratulations, really understand how you feel. a greeting

Christine said...

HI Veronica! My daughter turns 18 this fall, wow has time pasted! I would rewind the clock too, but mine would be a do over of her toddlerhood :) . Her teen years have been great! My son is 11, soon to be 12. I guess I'll see how those teen years go...

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