The Best Gift


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.


What a wonderful tribute to your son! Happy birthday wee Danny!

Janel Gradowski said…
Awww. You're such a good mom. Happy Birthday to Danny!
Karen Cantwell said…
Karen, your post made me cry! Happy Birthday to your both, because every day as a parent is a day for celebration.
Leah Griffith said…
Karen, this post brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely boy you have raised and what a treasured human bond the two of you share. It goes beyond mother son. You see him. He sees you. You "get" each other. What a blessed bond and friendship. You are so rich Karen. Thank you for sharing this private part of your heart with me...the greatest gift indeed.
Big hugs,
This is so beautiful, brought tears to my eyes, too. I agree with Karen -- every day as a parent is a day for celebration. So many good memories and discoveries! Have a lovely day with your son!
Kelly Hashway said…
Happy birthday, Danny!
Lovely tribute. My youngest is 2 and I'm already sad the first two years are over!
angel011 said…
That's wonderful! Happy birthday to Danny!
Jennifer Brooks said…
Beautiful memories came to me as I read this for I have a December baby, too! When my third and final baby was born on December 17th, I had never felt so content and so complete.

Happy Birthday to all the children of December!
Thank you for all of your comments, everyone. I'm so glad you liked the post. Danny had a great birthday, and my family all had lots of fun hanging out together. :)

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