Friday, March 17, 2023

Twenty One...

 Last week you complained you hated my sappy music in the car. Today, as I sit in the living room, I can hear your latest playlist while you're getting ready in the shower., it's all the same genres, and it is killer. You're singing along while the water runs. I've missed your singing. You stopped singing three years ago.

You stopped a lot of things three years ago.

Twenty-one years ago this week, I was being wheeled into the OR for a c-section because the midwives couldn't find your vitals. As soon as I was prepped, you rebounded and appeared fine. I was wheeled out, only to be wheeled back in when they couldn't find a heartbeat, and back out again as you rallied. They broke my water, you floated down onto your cord.  I had to have synthetic fluid put back in so you could float back up and "breathe". I was rolled in and out of the OR a total of 4 times before you were finally born naturally, of your own volition. Little did I know that this would be the dance we would do for the rest of our lives together. 

You've always been all in in everything you do. You have never been able to do anything a little bit.  It's all or nothing. You couldn't just read, you had to read until you were the number one reader in the entire middle school. Karate had to be done 6 days a week. Road races were run every weekend. You couldn't just do a Spartan race, you had to achieve the Trifecta. You weren't just a boy scout, you became an Eagle. You couldn't just wrestle.  You had to make it to states. And as much as you are all in, you're all out when you're done.  

You put down the books.

You stopped running.

You stopped going to Karate.

When season was over, you stopped wrestling.

And so, when you picked up a vape, you were all in. The bong, same. And any other distraction from becoming an adult, and assuming responsibility for your actions, you were all in. The last three years have been hell. For as much as we fought, and you pushed us away, cutting everyone off, you were all in. In my heart I knew no one would be able to stop you. Not me. Not your friends. Not being homeless. Not almost being stabbed. Not a gun fired at your head. The truth is, I have been dreading this week for years, because a small part of me thought neither of us would survive it.

But two months ago you decided you were done. You saw your friends for who they were and walked away.  You sold off your social media accounts, as well as everything that could drag you back into that life. You're looking for a job that will ensure you don't have to see any of your old contacts. The first month was hard, the detox, the paranoia, the anxiety, the depression. Magnified by the surgery and complete inability to move your right hand, then your car breaking down, and the abandonment of the few friends you had left, I thought for sure it would not last. We fought a lot. I snapped, showed you the door, you came home anyway. You loaded your dishes in the dishwasher.

Because YOU had decided, you were done.

On your birthday, you chose to go to lunch with your grandparents and me.  You had one drink, and a huge steak. You even had dessert. Eating has been such a struggle for you the last three years. You could have gone anywhere afterwards, you came home.  You stayed in that night. Tonight, St. Patty's Day, you had thoughts of going out, but when it started to sprinkle you chose to stay home. Saturday you're going to the MMA match to cheer on your friend, currently 3 and 0, and I fully expect a phone call if you need a ride home. I never expected you to be completely sober, but you've only hit the bong twice this week, world's away from where you were. 

I've danced the dance with you for a twenty one years now. I know better than to think we will never step on each other's toes, trip up on a missed beat, or even dance ourselves off the dance floor into a pile of chairs. But tonight, when you excitedly said you'd finally gained back ten pounds that'd you'd lost, I could see around the corner.  And, when you asked me to help you fix the holes in your walls for good, because you didn't want to have to remember the you that put them there, I had a tiny bit of hope. 

This can be your year Youngest. 

You just have to be all in.

Happy 21st.


  1. Hope springs eternal...and keeps us all going. So happy to hear these nuggets of goodness. Happy birthday and may he see how beautiful life can be on another road. *love and hugs*

  2. Wow, hope when he reads this, he realizes the love it has taken to write this.

  3. I read this with tears in my eyes! I know that the road is still rocky and hard but there is hope. Sending love. xo

  4. This is the 4th time I've tried to comment, it finally is allowing me to use my name!
    I love this post. I love that the two of you have gotten this far. I love that you never, ever gave up.

  5. They grow and change and find their own bloody mind which can be annoying

  6. Good on you both. It sounds like you're warriors.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog:)


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