Jan 12, 2018

First Birthday Alone

1/12/2018 — cori

My sweet-all-grown-up boy is marking another of life's milestone's this week. He'll be celebrating his 19th birthday alone.  All of his firsts are also all of my firsts. 

This will be the first year we haven't gotten up early and sleepy-eyed to wake him up singing "Happy Birthday" to him in bed and giving him his wake-up gift before doing anything else in our day. 

This will be the first year I haven't made him his favorite meal for his birthday dinner.

This will be the first year I haven't made him a special cake. 

This will be the first birthday we're not in the same state. 

This will be the first year we're not all at the dinner table sharing with the birthday boy what we love most about him. On every family member's birthday we always give them lots of verbal affirmation gifts. We want them to know exactly what we appreciate, admire, and love most in and about them. I'd say it's worked out pretty well for us over the years as the kids are now the first to initiate such kind words.

This will be the first birthday he has no presents to open. We gave him a birthday gift before he left back to school this past weekend. He was thrilled with it. But then I had two extra small things that I wrapped and wanted him to take back with him in his duffel bag so he could open something on his actual birthday. He said no. Two reasons: 1) no room in the bag, and 2) apparently its too awkward to open birthday gifts in front of your roommate.

I know this will be the first of many more to come. I'll be better with those, I imagine. But firsts are usually harder than the rest - you've never travelled down this road before, you don't know what to expect yet. I find that I'm simultaneously thrilled and sad that he's already left the nest. I'm thrilled with excitement about his future, how he feels a sense of fulfillment and inclusion in his college experience, and the thoughtful, kind, mature, intelligent, reserved young man he's grown up to be. I'm sad because that's what I had hoped for him all these years yet never knew they would actually ever come. You get so busy living your daily mundane life, you forget time is passing. It's a good sad though - with it comes immense gratitude, humility, and lots of precious memories. 

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