Bittersweet Birthday Tears

My baby boy just turned another year older today. It seems every time I blink I see a different little being in front of me. *Blink one*, my squishy newborn became a baby. *Blink two*, my baby became a toddler. *Blink three* led to preschool. *Blink four* led to elementary school. With every momentous occasion, it's hard not to tear up when you think about how much they've grown and changed with the passing of time. He went from a chubby baby who needed to be attached to me 24/7,

to an athletic, funny, inquisitive, sweet kiddo who waivers from wanting independence to wanting to snuggle up in bed with me and his dad...and his blankie on a Sunday morning. It's also amazing to see how much I've changed right along with him---my higher tolerance for messes and noise, my higher level of patience (admittedly some days are better than others), being more flexible, not needing perfection, feeling like the love in my heart for my little boy continues to grow. How is that even possible? Before I know it, *blink*, graduation from high school. *Blink*, college. *Blink*, having his own place/job/life/marriage. *Blink*, my husband and me sitting in our quiet living room looking at photos of this wonderful young man we've raised and feeling both happy for him and sad for the emptiness we feel without him. It pains me to think about my son's arms not being wrapped around my neck in one of his fantastic bear hugs, but I know he doesn't belong to me. He's his own person and he must write his own story. I'm just privileged to be his mama for a brief moment in time. I am honored. Happy Birthday, little man! You will never know how much I love you. XOXO

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