Today, my baby, my firstborn turns 20….
As in TWENTY.
That’s TWO decades, people.
(pictured here on his first day of school at age 3)
Man, it’s been a journey.
I could write a book but I never will.
In many ways, Jonathan and I grew up together.
I was a teenage mother. I was a young, naïve and stupid 19.
I didn’t know anything about babies, so he and I learned along the way.
Motherhood is the Ultimate OJT, I’ll tell ya.
(pictured here on his 18th birthday. Don't ya love that gaze avoidance?)
I knew when he was about 10 months old that something was wrong.
I just didn’t know what. But I knew.
It was two months before his 3rd birthday when we rec’d the diagnosis of fragile x syndrome.
Looking back, he’s come a long way.
I used to cry myself to sleep at night, praying that he would talk, or walk.
(He didn’t say his first word “Momma” –which was followed by the word “shit” until he was almost 3 ½ years old. And he didn’t walk independently until he was 2 ½ years old I thought for sure I’d be carrying him forever. )
Now, he talks constantly.
I mean, NON-STOP. Even in his sleep. You know God laughs at this because he gave a fragile X carrier super-senstive hearing and a kid that NEVER stops talking.
He has the most amazing blue eyes.
His heart is full of goodness.
But I can’t lie: birthdays are hard on me.
The logical part of me KNOWS that they are a celebration of the person’s life, their existence. But the emotional wreck inside of me who is riddled with FX anxieties sees what’s missing, what he might have been. And that’s how it is.
He hates the Birthday song.
He doesn’t really like cake.
He couldn’t blow candles out until he was about 8 (couldn’t purse his lips)
He still will watch Barney.
I still have to remind him to take care of his bathroom business.
I love him.
And I am blessed and challenged by him.
I am most certainly changed by him.
When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he very quickly blurted out, “A girl.”
He was dismayed to hear that I couldn’t get him a girl. So he’s settling for a dinner at Red, Hot & Blue BBQ, where no one will sing to him.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful Jonathan.