In reality, it has been 16 years.
But it could have been yesterday. Or forever ago.
I remember every moment as though it just happened, and I hardly remember what life was like before.
16 years ago, I became a mother. For as long as I can remember: as a young child, a high schooler, a college student, as a newlywed, this is what I had hoped for, dreamed of.
When Dave and I got married, having children someday was in the plan. We both agreed that we wanted kids (if we couldn’t have them, that was different, but we knew we wanted kids and if our Maker deemed us fit, well, yay!)
And 16!!! Years ago, I became a mother.
I could write a book on the wonder of being his mother. Volumes even.
As a baby he was happy and cuddly.
When his siblings joined our family he embraced them, literally, and figuratively, taking his role as big brother/protector very seriously.
When Dave first got sick, Kjell took it upon himself to be a “man”. Instinctively, he assumed more responsibility, uncomplainingly he took on more around the house.
With each move, he has, when others might have withdrawn, involved himself in his school and community. Many kids would have said “forget it”, Kjell found a place to get involved, and has made friends, all the while knowing his heart could very well be bruised when it came time to leave.
My heart swells with love and pride.
A fat, sweet baby, Kjell has grown into confident (and ridiculously handsome) young man.
Strong in body, mind and stronger still in his faith, Kjell is growing to be a wonderful man.
And remarkably, inexplicably, I have the joy of being his mother.
Happy Birthday, Kjell.