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Parenting Phase One? Complete.

To our Older Son:

Eighteen years ago today, you were born. It was not only the first day of summer and the longest day of the year in a sunlight-to-moonlight ratio kind of way, but also, as we’ve told you many times while grinning from ear to ear, the longest day of our lives up to that point.

You weren’t the easiest baby, either. Of course, we could have had it way worse but you used to cry and cry for seemingly no reason at all. And then there was that issue regarding your not tolerating being held by anybody except for me, for months. That includes your father who, bless his heart, used to hold you and care for you for the four hours a day, three days per week, that I was gone at my part-time job: not an easy feat for anyone, considering you wailed the entire time. It was enough to give him a complex, but thank goodness the crying stopped after many months and you became his buddy.

Thank goodness, also, that you looked like an angel, because the mental picture of how adorable you were was something helpful to remember when you were screaming your head off.

Your intensity was evident from Day One. Everyone knew you were going to be a thinker, a worrywart. You come by it honestly (sorry about that; that’s my bad).

When you were nearly three, your younger brother came along. You looked after him from the beginning, and one of your favorite things to do was make him laugh. (He may not always find you as funny these days, but that’s pretty normal.) I’m so glad we had all of those photo sessions on the couch back then. This picture takes me back immediately.

Though the two of you are very competitive when it comes to growing (odd that you have chosen to compete on the basis of something you can’t control, but who am I to step in?), I keep telling you that you both already measure up.

The young man that you have become is an amazing person.

You have a huge heart. You are generous, helpful, responsible, thoughtful, smart, creative, funny, and so much more. You make us proud every day.

In the old days, we used to tell you on your birthday that you were *insert number here* years away from eighteen, which was how long you had to Get. Out. Of. Our. House. We were joking but only sort of: we wanted to make it clear that you would indeed be expected to have a plan for starting your independent adult life, and now you do. You’re off to college in just a couple of short months and, if I have to be honest, a big part of me–though I know this is supposed to happen and you can’t live here forever and you have such an exciting future ahead of you–wants you to stay. Really, really badly.

But obviously, you can’t. And so these days your Dad and I spend lots of time thinking about the awesome person you have become and dreaming about the success you are bound to have, because you are a hard worker, even though you procrastinate worse than practically anyone. Sorry about that one, too.

As we all enter this new stage of your life together, your Dad and I feel good about turning you and your infectious smile loose onto the world. We never imagined that eighteen years could go by so quickly, but this really isn’t the “end” of anything but a phase in life. As Phase One of parenting you draws to a close today, we can’t wait to see what the beginning of Phase Two brings. If it’s half as exciting and rewarding as Phase One, we’ll consider ourselves tremendously blessed.

Happy, happy birthday. We love you very much!

©2010 Suburban Scrawl

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • WeaselMomma June 21, 2010, 12:49 pm


    Happy 18th to Older Boy!

    and here's a tissue for Mom.

  • Liz@thisfullhouse June 21, 2010, 1:12 pm

    Happy Birthday [grabs tissue from WeaselMomma] what a beautiful post, Mom!

  • Tara R. June 21, 2010, 1:13 pm

    Happy Birthday to your Oldest… this was a wonderful tribute. Jules did a fantastic job with the senior pix… what a heartbreaker.

  • Wineplz June 21, 2010, 2:01 pm

    Happy birthday!
    The pics of your boys when they were little looks like mine now. They don't really grow up that quick, do they?

  • Dawn June 21, 2010, 2:29 pm

    Hugs! I get it, you know I do…..and believe it or not, phase 2 is ALMOST as good as phase 1 in some ways, but even better in other ways.

  • Momo Fali June 21, 2010, 2:46 pm

    You have an ADULT for a kid! Wow. You're old.

    Kidding!!!! Please tell me that he likes younger women. My daughter is only 11, but give her seven years and we'll talk.

    Happy Birthday, Older Boy!

  • Heather June 21, 2010, 3:42 pm

    AWWWWW, THIS IS JUST PRECIOUS! i had to use caps cause i am tearing up after reading it. happy birthday older boy!

  • ThePeachy1 June 21, 2010, 4:20 pm

    lurve it ! 🙂 bday eldest one.

  • thenextmartha June 21, 2010, 6:29 pm

    This is so special. Thanks for sharing.

  • Otter Thomas June 21, 2010, 6:44 pm

    What a great triubute to the older son. Happy Birthday to him.

  • Mom24 June 21, 2010, 7:16 pm

    That's so beautiful Melisa. Enjoy the next couple of months. I know you'll stay close, it will be different, but still good when he's gone, I promise.

    Happy Birthday.

  • SurprisedMom June 22, 2010, 1:10 am

    Happy Birthday to the Older Boy!

    This is a wonderfully, touching tribute to your oldest.

    I'll be bringing over the kleenex and wine when he leaves for college.

  • PJ Mullen June 22, 2010, 3:11 am

    Happy Birthday to older boy!

  • Mr Lady June 22, 2010, 3:47 am


    And look at that sinister twinkle in his eye. You're hosed, sister.

  • Mrs4444 June 22, 2010, 3:50 am

    This is awesome. I hadn't realized he was SO much like Kyle–Seriously; you could have written it about him, from the colic, to the scowling baby photos. Loved the senior pics! Congrats on making it this far! 🙂

  • Katie June 22, 2010, 4:31 am

    Happy Birthday, Older Boy!
    This is very sweet 🙂

  • kat June 22, 2010, 6:46 am

    Melt. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag. Bis bald. 🙂

  • nycgirl0501 June 23, 2010, 3:05 pm

    This is so sweet I'm gonna cry. All he is, is a true testament to great parents! Cheers to you & your husband!

  • Lucy July 3, 2010, 3:45 am

    This made me cry. Happy (belated) b-day to your son and congrats to you on a great kid!