I sit here on the eve of your thirteenth birthday reminiscing about where we have been. Thinking about where we are now and Imagining where we are going.
First of all, I want to say I’m sorry. Your dad and I were young and not fully prepared to bring you into this world. You were the Best thing to happen to us and I am So Very Grateful we had you when we did. I’m sorry for not being wiser. I’m sorry for still being really young and very selfish for a lot of your life so far. I’m sorry you have to be the guinea pig for all of my parenting decisions. I’m sorry I’m not a parenting expert with all of the right answers the first time around. I’m sorry if I am ever over protective or if you feel I am too aloof. I’m sorry you are forced into the position of role model by default because you are the oldest. I’m sorry you are blamed for a lot of things I am sure you did not exactly do. I am sorry the most that life has put you in the position to be the ‘man of the house’ at such a young age. To be the one to look after your younger brothers. That’s not fair. You’re still a child, even if you are growing into a young adult. The position you have been forced into is not an easy one and it is definitely not fair.
Secondly, You’re Welcome. You get to do a lot of stuff that I didn’t get to do at your age. You have seen Way more racy things than I was ever allowed to. You get to do things that are super cool that I never would have allowed you to do because you are always here for your brothers and I think it’s only fair to let you have some fun. I break A Lot of my rules for you, so you’re welcome. You weren’t getting a phone until high school, you were only going to be in front of a device (video games, computer AND television) for 30 minutes a day and you weren’t allowed to date until you were married. So, you’re welcome.
Lastly, Thank You. Thank you for being the person you are. Thank you for looking out for your brothers. Thank you for realizing how hard I work and all I do for our family and thanking me for it. Thank you for pointing that out to your brothers. Thank you for being the kind of kid who immediately says “I’m gonna start cleaning up now” as soon as your last guest leaves the party instead of going to bed. Thank you for recognizing my happiness is important and even though you may not agree with some of the things that make me happy, you fully support them because they do. Thank you for letting me yell and scream and freak out sometimes for what seems like a silly reason and understanding I really just needed to freak out. Thank you for doing all of the things I ask you to do even when you really don’t want to do them. Thank you for coming out of your room just to say “I love you, Mom.” Thank you for being excited to spend a day with me. Thank you for talking to me every once in a while and sharing your life with me. Thank you for sharing memes with me and laughing at all of my corny jokes. Thank you for remembering what is important in life, for caring, for Loving and for being all around AmAzInG.
I can’t believe you will be officially a teenager tomorrow. Every year, your dad and I would excitedly exclaim on your birthday, “We kept him alive another year!” Because, well, parenting is HaRd. I can’t wait to celebrate with some Mom and Jack time. I can’t wait to see the wonderful human you will become. Except I can. Please don’t grow up too fast! I need all the years I have left!
At this point, it’s all you, dude. I have and am still doing everything I can to help you along the way, but you are old enough that you decide who you are. I think you’re doing a pretty stellar job so far.
Happy birthday, Jack. I love you!
MAKE GOOD CHOICES.