Golden Birthday


You don’t remember the day you were born, but I have the distinct pleasure of reminding you.

Every year.

For the rest of my life.

It’s our job as Mother’s. Sometimes we use our children’s births as threats, “I BROUGHT YOU IN THIS WORLD, I CAN TAKE YOU OUT!” or for guilt, “I WAS IN LABOR WITH YOU FOR XX AMOUNT OF HOURS AND YOU CAN’T GIVE ME A HUG?” or when we’re emotional, which usually happens on your birthday, “Ohhh today, I was holding your sweet little face close to mine…”

(You were just a few hours old here).

Everyone has a golden birthday. Mine was when I turned twenty eight. Yours is this year, when you turn thirteen.


I really am in awe about this. First off, it’s a little difficult for me to fathom that I am the mother to a teenager. Secondly, I can tell you think I’m a big dork and that you mumble how you despise me when I ask you no less than seventeen times if you finished your social studies outline and did you do that extra credit in math and where do all your socks go? Are you listening?

By now you’ve heard the story of your birth. How I was alone and clueless in Yokosuka, Japan. How I wore a pair of Papa’s work overalls for like five months because I couldn’t find any cool maternity clothes. How two weeks after your birth, we had to go to the grocery store, so we walked. WALKED. In the winter. Next to the sea. I wore you against my chest, put a blanket over you, put on my coat and zipped it up. I slung my back pack on and we did it. The little Japanese ladies liked when I would stop and unzip my coat a bit so they could rub your tiny face. They’d make these clucking noises and touch my arm. Sometimes they’d give me sweet treats, which I graciously accepted, even if I had no idea what I was eating. It was fun and you were always a great baby.

Hold on, I gotta get a kleenex…


So you’re thirteen. I’d like to list thirteen of my favorite moments and things about you.  I’m your Mom, so you can’t object. If you do, I’ll take away your phone. Yeah. So, there’s that.

1. That time you hit Gramma Dickerson in the head with a golf ball (even typing that sentence sent me into hysterics).

2. The way you open the door for me or any other lady/girl/teacher/elder.  That tiny gesture makes me proud of you.

3. The time you ate tacos at daycare, came home and barfed. Everywhere. We refer to this incident as “The Vomit Sprinkler.”  It was also the first time I was truly unsure of how to clean up such a huge mess; so I put you out on the back deck and hosed you off. Worked like a charm!

4. When you put rocks in your nose so that you would see if you’d poop gravel.

5. You trusted me enough with your first loose tooth to tie dental floss to it, tie that to a Nerf bullet gun and then shoot it across the room. IT WAS SO FREAKIN AWESOME.

6. You’ve got this really quick wit about you. Sometimes you’re a little blunt and sometimes, you don’t get the joke. At all (sorry man, you get this from me). 

7. All those nights when you were little when you’d sit next to me, sip on warm milk and twirl my hair till you fell asleep.

8. You have surpassed Mema and Nana in height. As of right now, you are 1/2″ taller than me. Feeding you is becoming a part time job. So is buying you clothes and shoes. STOP TURNING INTO A GIANT.

9. The fact that you are such a talented musician. This also makes me realize that I was making the correct choice by letting you drum on the side of the couch with my paint brushes and spending half my paycheck to buy you your first drum kit.

10. When you told me about your first confession, even when I told you it was private and you shouldn’t tell me. You did anyway and it was: “I told the priest I tried to touch the cat’s butthole because I was just curious. He said that wasn’t really a sin, but I felt bad for Abby.”

11. Bill and I taking you to your first concert, which was RUSH and then, when they started playing Subdivisions, you turned to me and said, “THAT’S YOUR JAM MOM!” 

12. When you flung that Hot Wheel into Papa’s brand new flat screen television and HE DIDN’T EVEN GET MAD AT YOU.

13. The creeper face you do. Which is usually while I’m writing, then I look up and you’re just holding this look on your face and it creeps me out! It always makes me bust out laughing though. Just promise me you won’t do this on any dates with girls. NEVER ON A DATE, YOU HEAR ME?  

This, of course, was a quick list. I promise I jotted the first thirteen things that came to mind.

You and I are starting to knock skulls a little bit, but I know that comes with the territory.  Last Saturday, I told you we would be volunteering at the Mens Shelter serving supper. You rolled your eyes and I said, “I know, I completely understand that blinding white hot rage you feel in your chest right now.”  As soon as I said it, your face went red. Look, I remember thirteen. I remember all the crazy friends, parties, good times, soul crushing loves, thinking my parents didn’t know shit, so forth and so on. Just know, that I’m here for you. Even if it’s just for a quick hug or to make you Mac N’ Cheese or those scrambled egg sandwiches (that you say are the best ever). Also, it’s part of my job as your Mom to constantly remind you that I’m here for you. I told Nana the other day that I’m sure I’ll download your syllabus in college and then call, “Did you finish your outline in Political Science? Are you studying for the chem final yet? Are you eating food? You’re not going out partying too much are you? Do you have a wing man? What?” It’s my job. Just as it’s Grammy and Nana & Papa’s job to continuously check on me. You’ll understand one day, promise.

MD, we’re so very proud of you.  From school work, to drama, to hearing your new music, laughing over gifs with you, making new memories and for becoming a pretty kick ass young man. You are compassionate, thoughtful, extremely hilarious and I’m looking forward to watching you continue to grow up. Even if it means I have to wear Depends when I teach you how to drive. Wait, on second thought, I may ask Bill to teach you. I’ll just sit in the backseat and scream.

I’ll stop here before I have a complete meltdown.

Don’t worry, you’ll see that tomorrow. Then you’ll roll your eyes and give me one of those bro hugs and I’ll go eat like three pieces of cake in the closet while I look at all your tiny baby clothes. Okay, maybe not that, but close.

You’ll always be my tiny Bee.

Remember, “I love you more than bread.”




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