My dear, sweet, blue-eyed baby,
I watched you cross the stage for graduation and couldn’t help but reflect back on your years up to this point. You are some kind of wonderful, kiddo. That’s not to say you haven’t given me a headache or two along the way.
I’m sure you don’t remember your first four months of non-stop screaming from the colic that left your belly rock-hard, but I’ll never forget it. The fact that we survived those days is a miracle. Maybe you were giving me some of the worst right from the start, telling me in your baby way to brace for a wild ride.
I also easily recall the shock of the phone call I got on your first day of kindergarten, the principal letting me know, just two hours into your glorious school career, that you were at “code red” for bad behavior after sneaking into the bathroom stalls with a buddy and locking all the doors so that nobody else could get in to relieve themselves. You were easy to catch since you and your buddy sat back laughing hysterically at your silly prank. I knew then I was really in for it.
I remember my heart stopping when someone rushed in to tell me you had been run over by a trailer after falling off a Halloween hay ride. Running out to the street, I didn’t know what I’d find, and the fear racing through me had my mind reeling. I should have known you’d be smart enough to instantly roll up into a ball, saving your head, leaving just your ankle exposed. You’d be in crutches for a few weeks, but how incredibly fortunate that there wasn’t more serious damage!
Years later, as you sat in court, fighting a traffic ticket, I was horrified when they wouldn’t let me in the courtroom with you. My 17 year old had no business fighting the charge on his own, but the courts considered you an adult and I had to watch through a tiny window in the hall. I wanted to scream to you, to protect you, but should have known you were more than capable of convincing the judge that your side was right. You’d always been so good at arguing with me.
I admit, I made my share of mistakes along the way, and wondered just how much damage I was causing to my amazing child with my stupid choices. Yes, we’ve been through a whole lot together. I apologize for those mistakes, and hope you’ve learned from them. Maybe you’ll turn out wiser than your mom.
You are already ten times more amazing!
Please remember, as you head into your next phase in life, you will always be my baby, and I will always want to protect you. I will also always take pride in the fabulous you that you become!
With all my heart,
[hana-code-insert name=’paynetribute’ /]