Cameron, my oldest, turned 17 last week. I don’t usually get overly emotional about birthdays. One of my favourite parts of parenting is watching my children grow up and celebrating as their get older and develop their personalities.
I was fine when he turned 13 and even 16 wasn’t such a big deal for me but 17 was very emotional for me. In fact this year has been incredibly emotional for as he prepares for the next chapter of his life.
This year has almost been like being pregnant. You know that in 9 months your life and the life of the baby will change forever. You spend 9 months preparing for it. Your baby grows and gets stronger, ready for that day they have to take their first breath without you. You buy clothes, set the nursery up, stock up on nappies.
Your child prepares.
You know it is going to be ok. You know that you will ok.
But you also know the day your child is born is the day your life changes forever.
Cameron and I are preparing for the next big moment that will alter our lives forever.
We have been preparing for 17 years. I have taught. He has fallen. He has grown. I have helped him and I have let him fall. He has helped me. We have fought and hurt each other and been so mad but there is always that moment that we remember who we are to each other and the road we have walked.
We have prepared! I have prepared him!
But I feel completely unprepared for that day he leaves. Not because I want him to stay. I don’t, really I don’t. He needs to spread his wings and start his journey.
I am just not prepared to not have him here every day, taking up too much space, eating too much and teasing Emma.
We work as a unit, we always have. Everyone has their place and the car moves forward because we all work together. I am not sure I prepared to move forward with a car that has a missing wheel.
I know he needs to do this and I am so excited for him.
I know I have prepared him.
But I am not prepared.
17 was a big birthday for me because in less than 12 months, on his next birthday, he is no longer a child but an adult. I will always be his mother, his compass and his home. He will always be the one who made me a mom.
But in a year he will be an adult.