Friday, June 4, 2010

We both became older today

Today my son turns 16 years old yet, I age today too. How did that happen?  It's his birthday not mine and I know ,as well as others who have gone before me, that my son turning 16 is a milestone for the parent as much as it is for child. This means that there are two official years left for which I will sign medical release forms and permission slips. I had him at 18 years of age; I look at him and think to myself how insufficient I truly was at that age. Now, I'm 34 and still feel that I'm not sufficient enough to provide him with all that he needs. I look to the One who is sufficient and pray  that my son will see that too.  Our struggles and moments of anguish feel like eternity at times. Moments when there are smiles and he allows me to hug him  are rare. For all the moments, birthdays, tears and joys they add up to the sum of 16 years. In the next 16 years he will establish his life, perhaps marry and know the feeling of holding a tiny little life in his arms. I chuckle at this final thought, will he in the next 16 years understand that which he now claims to not understand? Will he have his answers to the "why mom" questions that he throws at me every time the answer is no?  Will he look back and say thank you for being so "mean"? Amidst the candles and the cake these questions swirl in my mind.....I guess I'll let have to let you know in 16 years what the answers are to these questions.

I find myself struggling to raise you

But am determined to fight to my end

I find you are going through your growing pains

And I pray for growth through the pain

At times we smile and laugh

Reminisce when your small hands once fit mine

And I long for those days to my end

Now your arms are long and you grasp

For freedom not yet ready

So I pull you back and I trust to my end

One day you will walk in a different direction

Your life to make your own

Yet my love for you will always be

And I’ll be here to my end.

Happy Birthday Emmanuel!


  1. Beautifully written, Em. Of course you made me cry...I look forward to watching him grow over the next 16 years, rejoicing, praying and crying with you. I love you, Em, you are a great mom and have given me a wonderful example.

    Happy Birthday to Eman, I look forward to celebrating with him this weekend.

  2. Oh, Emily, Emily. How proud your dad must be, and how happy he must feel to see the product of your hard work as a mom. And I could see your dad’s grin remembering the many (many) times he has to hear your “why?” or “Why not?”. Not just when you were 16, but when you were 9!!
    But let me say just one more thing: the pleasure to hear his grandson’s grave voice saying “Why?” or “I don’t want to” but not once, raise his voice to you, and though ‘understandable’ upset or disappointed he goes to his room and find solace in his guitar; and though your dad may not 100% agree with your disciplinary methods, he must be so proud nevertheless, for perhaps in his despair to answer your “whys” or ‘why nots”, he may have done something right. But most of all he for sure must be swollen with pride to have a daughter who is you.
    Happy B-day Eman, well done Emily, from Dad, with love. June 5, 2010. Ivan Eli.


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