Today is my son Nick’s 18th birthday… On Friday, Nick left for a weekend trip to Mexico where with other teens and parents they will build a house for a family in need. As Nick left, I was extremely proud of him- both for what he was doing this weekend and for who he is as a person. I also found myself in this bittersweet position- I was both excited and sad. I said goodbye to Nick as a 17 year old and he will come home today as a legal adult. It hit me that soon I will be saying goodbye to him as he heads off to college and I will have an empty nest. That is a daunting thought, but one for another day. Today I want to celebrate Nick.
Nick is compassionate, intelligent, handsome, witty, funny, creative, resilient and wise beyond his years. As a baby I would sing to him “wild thing, you make my heart sing, you make everything groovy”. A bit hokey I expect but it worked then and it has continued to be “our song”. Every holiday, birthday, etc. always includes that one line from the song. And the thing is… its true! Nick has made my heart sing now for 18 years. What could be groovier than that?
We’re at that place where it’s time for me to let go and to give him his wings. And I do so both joyfully and reluctantly. The joy comes in knowing that he is well prepared and ready to fly. I look forward to seeing his life unfold~ bumps and all. My reluctance is simply that I will miss seeing him on a daily basis. The days that Nick will be living at home with me are now numbered, even if I don’t quite know what the number is. It reminds me of the story of 1000 marbles where a man realizes that his days with his family are numbered… and he chooses to have them count, have them be the very best. So today, on Nick’s 18th birthday, I’m going to choose too. I choose to make every moment and every day I have with Nick count, not to sweat the small stuff and to be ever so grateful for this exceptional blessing and gift that Nick is, and has been, for me.