Many, many years ago, okay 18 years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy. I was young, I was single, I was a statistic.
It was likely I wasn’t going to finish high school, graduate college or get a real job. It was likely that my son wasn’t going to have the best life. It was BULLSHIT, and I was determined to rise above it, for MY SON.
Let me start by saying that I owe A LOT to my own Mama for being there for me and for pushing me to do better, achieve more, reach higher. Had it not been for her, all those likely’s very likely would have happened.
But they didn’t, and I am forever grateful to her. I am grateful that she helped me raise a smart and genuine young man. I am grateful that she helped to guide me when I felt lost. Grateful that she stood by me and picked me up when I fell, and for those times she pushed me to pick myself up.
Not only did I graduate with a higher degree, but I achieved a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. I did it all for you J-bird, to make sure that I could give you the best life. And I am so proud to have you following in my footsteps by attending my Alma Mater and studying in CJ. We have been very fortunate to have had the support of family, friends and professors-turned-friends to help guide us along the way.
J-bird you arrived with a big bang into this world as a hefty 8-lb adorable and happy baby in 1996, and are entering the world with an even bigger bang as a handsome and bright young man in 2014. I need you to know that I am so proud of all that you have achieved in these 18 years and the man you have become.
I have no regrets in raising you as a single mama (well for half of your life) because I know it has made you wiser and more independent than I could have ever dreamed, the man I see before me now. I have no regrets in making the big move to Miami in the middle of your primary school years because I know it has helped shape you into the beautiful person you are today, my man I see before me now.
All that I hope for you is that you continue to grow and learn. That you never stop reaching for the stars. That I will be there to help you up, or give you the push you need to stand on your own. You will never be alone…
One day a woman will come along and want to take you from me. I will never be ready for that, NEVER. But I will be there on your wedding day cheering you on, in the most embarrassing way ever, all while crying out my eyes out of joy and happiness for you. But remember, there is NO RUSH, enjoy these years to your fullest.
You have challenged me in ways that my own mama couldn’t have dreamed of. You have taught me more than I could ever have learned in any classroom. You have been there for me more than you know. For this, I thank you. I hope that I have done the same for you, and that I have lived up to your expectations of a mama and a mentor.
Continue to explore the world, one country at a time. Make a name for yourself everywhere you go, use your commanding presence in each room you enter. Learn more about yourself, all the things I already know. And for heaven’s sake, shave that man-beard so I can see your beautiful face again!
Happy 18th Birthday J-bird!!!!
P.S. #SorryNotSorry about the chocolates. They really hit the spot tonight.