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My son turned 17.  17.  I am in denial for some reason.  I don’t know why this year is harder than 16.  But, it is.

I grew up with my son. I was a child myself when I got pregnant and had him.

Lovely labor picture.

I had no idea what to do.  This poor child.  Was being raised, by a child.

Doesn’t my face scream- WTH do I do with you?

I had terrible postpartum with him.  I remember just sitting in the shower crying while he slept in the baby carrier on the bathroom floor.  It was the ugly kind of crying too, the kind where your stomach hurt, your throat ached and your eyes felt like someone hit you when you finished.  <<I just didn’t think I could do it. I just couldn’t fathom being a mother.>>  I would cry in the shower so no one would hear me and prayed that my sadness and feelings of inadequacy would wash down the drain with all the water. Eventually it did.

And so…while my son grew up, I did too.

Yes. Yes my hair is orange here. Self dye job gone wrong.

I learned that life wasn’t all about me (no matter how much I tried to make it so…and…sometimes still do).

I learned how amazing it felt to have someone look up to you.

I learned how painful and heartbreaking it was to have someone look up to you.

I learned how to worry.  About everything. And then sometimes, worry about nothing.

I learned how wonderful parenting is.  I learned how hard, and sometimes awful parenting is.

I learned that there is no better feeling, than to be loved by your child.

And so, I have one year left with my son.  Before he starts his journey, his life, without me.

And I hope, that he has learned some things.  I pray that I have provided him with enough experiences in life to make good decisions.  To be a positive contributor to society.  To love God.  To love and respect mankind.

To not, necessarily, follow in my footsteps.

I have one year left.

And I will treasure, every moment.

My son and I