I love your summer birthday, nestled into the pulse of the loveliest three months. I love that you always want the same exact birthday meal (bombers, banana cream pie, and plain old vanilla ice cream cake). Predictable, exact, wonderful, you. As I began to think about your birthday I thought about your upcoming senior year and how you are the third kid of mine to take my AP Studio course and probably the last one as I don’t think I will still be there when Q is ready for high school. That entire sentence is hard for me to fathom. Raising teenagers has been pretty special for me in that all of you are artists in your own right, I get to be your teacher, and so I feel especially attached. Knowing how fast the school year flies and knowing you are the caboose, well, it just makes my heart sink a bit. If reminds me a bit of reading a really good book that you just don’t want to put down, but you also don’t want to end. You, dear William, are that part of the book where I really trying to savor my time, where the pages held in the right hand start to feel a bit too thin for comfort. I don’t want it to end.
Luke came home to visit this week. Isn’t that strange? To visit? I am still getting used to the change in dynamics. It’s not you guys changing that overwhelms me … it’s me having to change and to identify my new role. So for this year, just let me be your mom. I just want one more year where we are all entangled … where we share a toaster and the remote.
I looked back at these photos and it feels so bizarre … where is that kid? Where is that mom? I love that you are smiling in these because sometimes I feel like I only remember the hard parts.
Isn’t it crazy that in that first photo you are turning eight? Quinn is about to be eight! That is why I am certain time doesn’t exist. Yet here we are, kid. Seventeen.
I am wishing you a year that is full of promise, happiness, and love. You amaze me, Will. I love, LOVE that you never need to be reminded of anything. You are reliable, consistent, a constant heartbeat in my life. I also hope for you that you welcome the occasional surprise and interruption. I know you like to know what to expect, but somewhere in your teen years, learn to trust yourself to fail. I can hear you now, “I don’t fail, Kel.”
So in your perfection, then, I wish us the sweetest year ahead, especially as you begin your college search. May the exact right one fall in your lap and may it be the trigger that starts an adult life full of the same magic and awe that you have brought to mine. You are hands down the funniest person I have ever met in real life. Smart and beautiful to boot. Know that we are all proud of you. Next it’s your turn to learn to be proud of yourself … to allow that feeling, to own it. Seventeen seems to naturally extend itself to that opportunity.
When you were born, Dad and I used to sing the Malcolm Dalglish song, “Sweet Potato,” to you. One of the lyrics is “They must have grown you wild to make a grown man a child.” I do hope you always feel like a wild child at heart and that you leap into it with great joy. We are gonna love you up, kid. We cannot wait to hold witness to your glorious life. You have the divine right to be happy, healthy, and prosperous. Love it all, baby boy. Happy birthday. Here is your song. It has the exact amount of silliness and joy in it for you, but it’s mixed with brilliance and heart and exactness and depth … of course it’s your song. I love you, Will, so incredibly much. xoxo Mom
“The world is big,
It’s very big.
It’s new to you.”