My youngest son turns thirteen today. He is intelligent, self-driven, hilarious, and wonderful, all qualities he was born with, so I may brag about him free of any bravado or reflection upon my parenting skills. I am very lucky and privileged to be his mother.
I remember the happiness of bringing him home from the hospital. Our little family was finally complete! Feeding him by the light of the Christmas tree. Reading holiday tales as he cooed, cuddling into his blanket. Wrapping presents next to him as he sat, all cozy in his baby seat, Barbra Streisand’s Christmas album playing softly in the background.
I was never so content.
It might have been because I had finally stopping throwing up as I had done every day for the past nine months due to morning sickness, but I think it really was that I was getting to know my Danny, this child who would continually surprise me. This child to whom I go now for a different perspective when I need an opinion. This child who has grown into such an interesting human.
He plays football and lacrosse, violin and electric guitar. He loves Shakespeare right alongside Green Day and Avenged Sevenfold. Loves pranks, yet was the first to offer more hugs this fall when my oldest left for college.
And while we have been teasing him by playing My Chemical Romance’s song, “Teenagers,” with its lyric of “Teenagers scare the living shit out of me,” the true song that will always play in my head whenever I think of him is the same one that provided the background for our first Christmas together thirteen years ago — “The Best Gift.”
Happy Birthday, Danny. Love you so much, my teenager.