Today my son, my firstborn, turns 21. I must wait two days to give him a very big hug and kisses. For the first time in 21 years I am not with him on his birthday. He stayed in Perth, with his younger sister and father when I chose to move across the country to start life again. But he flies out tomorrow evening, arriving early on Thursday to spend a week with me. He chose to stay where he was born and grew up partly for his sister, and partly for his friends, and that means staying with his dad and his paternal grandmother.
My firstborn, arriving just short of my 30th birthday. The eldest grandchild on both sides. The most gentle, tender and loving person. A young man who has recently been able to come off anti-depressants. A man now. One who is slowly finding his place in this world. A son who daily gave big hugs and cuddles. A person who finds it hard to express verbally his feelings and thoughts. Who only speaks when he has to. One who told me that the best day of his life was the day his sister was born. He was 4. A brother who adores and protects his younger sister. They are best friends.
His sister told me that now he gets out more than her. A great achievement. He straightened his hair, dyed it purple. a positive step for him. It shows me his willingness to let go of some of his rigidity. His angst. I have a beautiful daughter. One who makes her own way in the world, one whose teachers told me in primary school, that she is unique, an individual. She does not follow, she does not lead. She is comfortable in her own space. Her brother allowed her to do so. Perhaps at his expense. For when she was born he changed a little. Became more serious. Took up the protective mantle to support, encourage and guide her. Yes we were forever telling him to let go. It was not his responsibility to ‘parent’ her. But he chose to do so, out of pure sibling devotion.
The stories I could tell would never end. I am his mother. I have a lifetime of beautiful memories, from before he was conceived. How his life enriched mine, brought joy and laughter, concerns and worries. How a deep glow fills my heart and soul. His unique qualities, idiosyncrasies. Embarrassing moments. His achievements and frustrations. Most mothers do. My stories are thankfully positive. He has given me small worries over time, but that has been more to do with his social quietness.
My son is special. Not in a special needs sense, but in a deeper way. He is empathic. He feels and senses others. His care and consideration of others. He is creative. His art work is wonderful. Last year I wondered which of my children would get my ‘healing tools’. My crystals. My special pieces. I initially thought it would be my beautiful sensitive daughter. Yes she too is empathic. She doesn’t recognise or acknowledge it yet. What surprised me was the strong reply the universe gave me. My son. He always had an interest in computer graphics and gaming. Half way through a Uni degree with a double major in mathematics and computer science he was floundering. It wasn’t a good time in our family. My marriage was falling apart. After much discussion I encouraged him to postpone.
He told me he would like to do massage. I was stunned. What an opposite choice. Yet I understand. Last year I took my beautiful babies to spend an afternoon with my girlfriend. We ‘played’ in her healing room. I lay on the table and she encouraged and supervised the kids. I had the absolute pleasure of feeling and sensing my sons incredibly gentle healing touch and energy. Yes he is a healer. He senses and feels energy imbalances. He identified correctly by feeling, hands above my body, every injury I have ever had. And no he didn’t know about them all, neither did my girlfriend. But he was spot on, pinpointing exactly. This year he undertook a weekend course in massage and loved it. He wants to do further study.
He is an incredibly calming and supportive influence on his best mate. A mate he’s known since age 4, starting kindy. Indeed most of his mates are from early school days. They kept close over the years. With his best mate they are like yin and yang. His mate encourages him, gets him out and motivates him. In turn he quiets his over-active friend. They balance each other. A blessing both his mates mum and I appreciate. I am so very thankful for his mates parents. They are his second parents as their son is my second son. And yes we are all connected via Facebook. They encouraged him to try fishing, introduced him to cars, to letting go. Showed him it’s a good thing to hug his mother every day.
So today, his 21st birthday, the turning point in all our children’s lives, he is foremost in my mind. I stop to reflect. To experience all the emotions. How I carried him in utero, delivered him, how we struggled, together, to get him to feed. How he grew, fascinated with the world, energetic and talkative. The day he sat on a chair and lectured us all. How he would run into the room and dance to the theme song from a TV show. His days at day care, kindy and school. His quietness. Consideration. His intelligence all round earning him Dux at primary school. How my daughter achieved the same. Both their names on the school shield. My concerns over his weight and waking foggy every morning. Until we discovered he is gluten-intolerant and had a neck and back problem causing pain. He rarely complains about pain. Breaking both arms playing T-ball and having them in plaster for an Easter holiday down south. His love of roller-coasters. Willingness to try new foods. To give life a go. Finding himself lost, meandering and uncertain in his life path. The year of depression and listlessness. Starting his first job. One he still has a year later. So many memories. My son. Now entering man-hood. What joy there is in bringing a beautiful soul into the world. Indeed two beautiful souls. Ones who are independent, strong in their own way, sensitive and loving.
Yet today I can not forget another mothers pain. A mother who last year celebrated her sons 21st. Her firstborn. One my children attended. A son much loved. An older brother of my daughters best friend. A son tragically murdered in Afghanistan. Serving his country. My children attended his funeral recently.
My mother told me that my father told her to hold us lightly. We are in our parents care a short while. But always in their hearts.
I never thought that my children would change my life as much as they did. Giving new meaning, new experiences and such joy. I am doubly blessed and so very thankful that I have had the opportunity to watch them grow.
The cartoons in the collage are by my daughter 🙂