Nearly 18 years ago I walked into Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, South Dakota, and you were born, my youngest, a few hours later, shy of ten pounds. If I had known you would be that big, I might have smoked or something. (I'm just kidding, obviously; please don't lecture me on the dangers of premie babies)
You, my youngest son, were ADORABLE. Big, blue eyes and white hair. I might have easily been one of those overindulgent mothers--except Sweet Baboo has reigned me in, convincing me that a man only learns respect if he's made to be respectful.
Trust me, I know it's your birthday, and that our influence has been rapidly evaporating. We've been racing to have as much influence over you as we can, while we can, so that you'll be an honorable man that respects boundaries.
I want you to be able to make your own decisions, and solve your own problems, so that your life will be easier. It's good, at least for now, for you to suffer the delusion that you don't need me to make your way in the world. Meanwhile, though, it's time you started understanding that I have a life, too. It's not all about you. Maybe I have things to do now.
MOM: I GET 2 DO THAT. U WERE SNOTTY.
I'm fearful of what you'll decide to do with your shiny-new, adult self. But in that worrying is the firm understanding that becoming an adult can be much more painful if I spent your pre-adult years rescuing you from every little thing.
Put in in the book. That's what I told you whenever you and your siblings complained about how unfair I was. Put it in the book that you got kicked off the swim team and I did nothing to stop it, that I turned you in for breaking school rules and you were put in the in-school suspension. Be sure to include that I made you walk 4 miles when you slept in and missed the bus, and that I didn't take your project to school when you forgot it, even though I could have left work to do it.
Eventually, you've been figuring out 1) not to get into messes, and 2) you're perfectly capable of taking care of yourself.
This is good. Very good. I see people with ruined lives because they haven't figured out those things. I don't want you to be one of them.
I'm inflicting minor pain now so that you don't have it later. Put it all in the book.
Happy 18th birthday, my youngest son.
Have a happy life.