Twenty-eight years ago I became a mom. I was 17 years old. Homecoming was the next day. I obviously was going to miss it. My birthday was also the next day.
Patrick came screaming into the world at 10:54 at night. 54 was his dad’s jersey number. We all thought that was a funny coincidence. Hours later I turned 18.
I was happy we didn’t have the same birthday. I didn’t want to share that with him. It was selfish but I wanted something that was mine.
In the years that followed, people applauded me for being a single mom and going to school. Raising Patrick was not easy. There were times I loved him deeply, snuggled on the couch with him watching Batman. Other times there were screaming matches with a two year old.
I did not always love my child. I didn’t always like him. He was tough. But as I reflect back on that, it was my own dealings with it. Perhaps. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with parents disliking or not loving their kids. It happens. It just turns out that I did truly love Patrick at the core after the worst had past.
Almost dying, I disconnected myself from him for a while. It took a few for me to care about him again. I didn’t want this baby I loved to be taken and my heart crushed. He was a miracle and lived.
There was the time he poured milk, oatmeal and coffee creamer on the carpet while I was asleep and it turned to cement. Also the time when he Of Mice and Men, Lennyed the bunny, Kahlua, to death by petting it.
Now, we find ourselves in an adult situation where he cares for me some days.With my moods subject to change, he asks what he can do and gives me a big hug and it mends my world.
We have Sunday dinners together, eat, chat and watch TV. He has turned into the coolest adult. Even though he got mad at me for not letting him watch DragonBall Z as a kid at some point.
I love this kid with all my heart and cannot imagine my life without his light. We raised each other those early years. Through trial and error, I found my ways to being a mom, a caring parent, a loving parent. I was tough and set boundaries. We found our way together.
I would not be who I am if Patrick had not come into my life to teach me about sacrifice, selflessness, love, compassion, friendship, support, gratitude, kindness, grace and so much more.
Happy birthday Patrick. Thank you for loving me.