Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jonathan turns 20

Twenty years ago today, I became someone’s Mom.
Today, my baby, my firstborn turns 20….
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.


Sue said...

Happy birthday handsome :)

Linda said...

I'm cryin' here....beautiful tribute to your firstborn...

Happy Birthday Jon (because I know, at 20, he wants to be called Jon...and I wish I could give him a girl!)

Kellie said...

Happy BIrthday Jonathan! And Happy Day to you too SB.

It's so neat to hear your story; Jonathan's story...

It's a powerful one, so transparent and honest.

Thanks for sharing.

Laura said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful boy!

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JONATHAN! You've done a good job in raising your mother. Perhaps she'll treat you to a good story from Dr. Suess

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Jonathon...(and as a weird twist it's my birthday too -- how fun!!!)
Peggy E

rennratt said...


I wish that we could give Jon a girl for his birthday.

I'm pretty sure that's against the law, though.


Did you tell them that 'a girl' was something he would have to find on his own?

Suzanne said...

OH Lord! Jonathan IS gorgeous!
What a beautiful face! You and Kitchen Madonna have the most handsome sons and the photos that you both have of them show the depth of who they are..in their eyes and smiles. I know it could not have been nor is easy at times, but I am also sure you would trade nothing of who he is. God will always take care of him because you have loved him so..He will...so just enjoy! My oldest is 27 this summer...a girl...my oldest son would have been 24 on July 22nd..he has been in Heaven for a long time and with us here too in spirit..like I said..enjoy! :)
Happy Birthday, young man!

Kristiem10 said...

Happy Birthday Jonathan. What a sweet post.

Journey of Truth said...

Happy birthday and many many more!

Casdok said...

A very happy birthday to Jonathan!!
The time just flies dosnt it!

Kristenkj said...

Oh Wow. That was so beautiful. Happy Birthday Jonathan, one day late.

Anonymous said...

A smidgy delayed but Happy Birthday :)

Now I plan to go cry because my hopes are now dashed that Matty will eventually breathe during his conversations with me ;-)

Paula Fasciano said...

Your words make me cry every time. You so well say all those things that we all can't muster to blog!
Happy Birthday to your very handome Jonathan!