I found myself thrown into an epic tug of war battle. It began the moment I first held him (which, thanks to a progressive OB dr, was truly as he was born into my shaky, woefully unprepared hands).
All I wanted to do at that moment was keep him safe, forever.
And yet I knew my job was to, eventually, let him go.
And for the last 20 years, my heart has been smashed to a million pieces/full to bursting.
Those first steps, not holding my hand.
The day he learned to open the front door and venture into the yard.
Walking to school, in first grade. (I stayed just out of sight, the entire mile)
Dragging his sled to the park, without me. And coming home with frost-nip
Falling out of a tree. And calling to tell me about it.
Biking to school.
Driving to his job.
Rear-ending a car. And calling to tell me about it. After he had called the police and filled out the accident form.
Watching his hand shake, just before he signed his appointment acceptance to the United States Merchant Marine Academy (18 and committing a minimum of 9 years to service)
Waving as he goes through airport security, on his way to Indoc.
Phone calls, from the ER, AFTER he has been discharged.
A text. From Djibouti.
With each of these, my every fiber wanted to encase him in bubble wrap. And with each one of these, I reveled in his victory.
From those first steps: just inches from me, to 1\2 way across the globe, all I wanted to do was pull him close and make him promise to never leave his mother.
From those first steps: just inches from me, to 1\2 way across the globe, I knew my job was to prepare him to truly live life.
And for 20 years, my heart has been smashed to pieces with a mother’s fear/ bursting with the pride of a mother’s love
Happy Birthday, Kjell.
I love you, with my heart burst into a million pieces.