I am sitting here thinking of the past. I am going to set this to publish in the morning, but tonight, as I write, my mind is taking me back 18 years. I was getting ready to do one of the most important things that I have ever done…give birth to my oldest son. That's right. Tomorrow at 5:24am Spencer will turn 18.
I have so many things that I want to tell him and so many things that I want to keep him from doing. Yet, I know that I have to let him travel his own road. Time has taken him toward adulthood faster than I was ready for. Time is a thief that robs us while we watch. I am sad, yet I am excited for him. I am so very proud of him and I know that he will be okay, yet I want so much to hold him close and keep him from being hurt. I know that I can't.
When he was young, I wrote a poem for both my boys. I was sitting at the computer next to the bay window watching them as they played outside. At that moment I knew that before I knew it this moment would be here. I hope that you will indulge me if I share it with you today, I think it is fitting. I submitted it to the International Library of Poetry and when the book came out in 2003 it was the very first poem in the book. It is titled Winds Of Fall
Winds Of Fall
I woke one blustery day that fall to find
Time had turned and I had fallen behind.
Leaves spiraled on winds quite high
Saluting, but once, in their yearly goodbye.
There in the yard, my sons did play
Making the most of the Autumn day.
Small blond heads, bent in play
Making me yearn for another summer day.
Time is a bandit, robbing all it should meet
Making today a memory, a stranger on the street
The winds of fall wipe away my tears
As my children grow further in years.
Tomorrow, their childhood will be no more
As manhood shall be at their door.
Winds of fall, please let them play
Let them remain children for just one day.
Yet my heart knows this can't be so
And like the leaves I will watch them grow
One day to say goodbye, on winds of fall riding high.
And now it has happened. My baby boy is now an adult in the eyes of the world. He can vote. He can get a tattoo, he can make his own way and there is little that I can say about it. I remember when I met his dad. I had no idea that I would soon be married and even less of an idea that I would soon want to make my family bigger. Yet that is exactly what happened. On August 3, 1999 as I watched the sun rise into the sky, my baby boy came into the world. Life has been an amazing journey with him. I have had the privilege of experiencing the world through his eyes. I learned how to be a mom to a boy and I learned how to be a better mom than before. I had the distinct honor of watching my son grow into the man he is becoming. Or has become. Either way it has been my honor to watch him pull on the mantle of adulthood.
I can truly say that Spencer has made mistakes and has learned from them. I can say that he is a good man and someday may even be a great man. I can say that he has a great sense of humor and he embodies the best qualities of his dad. I know that if I were to leave this world tonight, he would be okay. I just hope he knows how proud I am of who he is. I hope he knows that my heart is filled with joy while is breaks just a little. I hope he knows that I am looking forward to watching this next chapter of his life unfold. The road is waiting there before him…fresh blacktop and the truck is gassed up…life is calling. I hope he remembers to look in the rear view mirror from time to time, because that is where I will be. I will always be his anchor, I will always be his home, he will always have my heart…no matter where his life takes him.
I am full of wishes for my son's 18th birthday. I wish him all the love he can handle, more laughter than any day can hold, a long life filled with experiences, just a little hardship…so that he can appreciate the good times, and a little heartbreak so that the rest of the days will be that much sweeter. I wish that, as he stands on the threshold of manhood, that time doesn't pass too quickly for him. I hope that he remembers to savor the moments. I know that soon he will leave the nest. I know that my heart hurts just thinking about that, but I am excited for him.
More than anything, the one thing that I want to say to him on this momentous birthday is a line from a book we used to read. It became kind of a tradition that we said to each other when the boys were little…"I'll love you forever, like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." That will always be true. I have loved him since before he was born and will love him until time ends, and even longer. Happy Birthday son.
In honor of today, here are pictures of Spencer. Hope you don't mind.