Eleven Years: A Countdown

3 Apr


My babies are 11.

My babies are 11! Which is incredible because they were born yesterday. Their arrival, via planned C-section, was the last scheduled event I’ve successfully pulled off since their birth. Their entry into the world marks an over-decade long maternity leave for me and a reminder of a law degree that quietly collects dust in a closet otherwise filled with crayons, blocks and board games.

When they were babies, the days were long. One sunny afternoon, strolling them in town, a woman stopped me to ask how I was “stimulating” them. Stimulating them? I recall answering her: “Lady,  I’m just trying to keep them alive.”

During their first year, I remember as the sun started to dim each day, I would count down the hours until I would safely deposit them into their cribs for hopefully a long night.

For the past few years, I find myself still obsessively counting; counting the years I have left with my sons. Worrying that they will turn 18 and I will never see them again. Worrying about the mistakes that I’m making as a mother. Worrying about the mistakes that I’m not making as a mother that would lead them to one day move back into my basement with a futon, a bong, and an Xbox (because then at least they would be home!). Worrying.

How I wish I had those days back. How I wish the time would stretch interminably before me like an ocean, with 18 years of those babies just across the landing of my home and my life.

As my boys stand on the precipice of puberty, caught between little boys who love their mother and big boys who love other girls, I wish so much for them:

That they find love.

That they find love for themselves and each other.

That they consider each other best friends.

That they laugh every single day, even when something terrible happens.

That they get into trouble because that is the best way to learn.

That they fail at something and then try again and again.

That they know how to cry.

That they find music that absorbs them, books that envelop them, moments that overwhelm them.

That they know kindness.

That they choose happiness.

And mostly, that they always look for the good.

Happy birthday, Benjamin and Eli. You are worth more than that decaying law license. You are worth more than those hours I foolishly wished away. You are worth more than any sunset I gleefully welcomed.  You are worth everything. And I love you.


2 Responses to “Eleven Years: A Countdown”

  1. hamidlifewall April 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    I enjoyed this, its what I did, and now they are grown and i am starting this lifewall.org site because I think there are moments we need to immortalize…memories fade…love the keeping them alive line…mine use to be when anyone asked how are the girls ” they are still breathing.”

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