It seems a given in America, that a person who turns twenty-one goes out and purchases alcohol, whether to try for the first time, or to finally do it legally. In other cultures, this marks the occasion that a person has become an adult, and is given the "key to her life". For me, my twenty-first birthday is defined as the third year of my son's life on this Earth.

I have been asked by many people, what plans I have for my birthday. Although I would love to have said that I could be found at the club from eight until closing time, it just wouldn't have been true. I don't drink, and I have never much liked partying. When I made it clear that what I wanted was a day to myself, to do anything I liked, I didn't know how hard it would be to actually think of something to do; I've seen all the good movies, I'm not hungry, my book is boring, and shopping--though a favorite activity--is out of the question.

But did I need time away, that's for sure. And the hour that I've been gone has already made me take back my vow to burn the laundry pile. So here I am at the city library, mooching their internet, and already wishing my son were here. Ironic, no?

When I said that this year's birthday is defined as my son's third year, I was only partially lying. I'll admit part of it is defined by the advancements I've made in my life and well-being. But the majority is defined by how far my son has come. After all, he is, essentially, a projection of myself: values, mannerisms, attitude (oh boy, attitude for sure!), and health. I feel like each year of my life is marked by the progress in his. And by progress, I don't mean that he has to learn a certain amount of words each week, or know all his numbers. There is no pressure on him to achieve more than he can.

Last year, he could barely say more than three words at a time. This year, he speaks in full sentences, with better grammar than I do (no doubt my mom, the English teacher's, doing). Last year, he had just learned what happy meant. This year, he has a strong relationship with each and every emotion, never failing to pull one out when needed, or to name one when he sees it in someone else's actions.

Last year, I spoke in third-person to him (don't ask how that started, I'm a bit embarrassed). This year, I speak like a normal human being, and have even begun to learn words I never knew before; all for the sake of teaching him what he wants to know. Last year, I was super-mama, happy and pleasant all the time. This year, I'm not--sad to say--but I am able to converse with him and let him know what I'm feeling. Something I never did before, but now find quite fun. This year, I finally feel like a mom; something I've struggled with for a while.

The painting above is called: Absorb. It is by Katie M. Berggren, and besides being beautiful, I think it perfectly conveys what I am trying to say: that we absorb eachother. That with each new year, we both become more of the same person, which means, we also develop our own selves.

I've had two, almost three, full years absorbing this boy, and he has definitely helped make me the twenty-one-year-old that I am today. His present has been this entire past year.

Happy birthday to me!



    What a beautiful post too...I love the drawing and I would say for such a young woman, you are certainly wise and have been blessed in so many ways!

    Happy Birthday! I wish you the best year ever!

  2. Happy Birthday you sweet, sweet girl. I hope it was a good one.

  3. You are such a good mother. Thanks for being an example to me. HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY! :)


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