Once upon a time, I didn’t know what it was like to be a mother.  Then there was you.  My first.  And I wasn’t quite sure what to do with you.  But your dad and I figured it out.  Slowly but surely, we established a routine and we became familiar with each other.  Now, you’re such a part of us that it’s odd when you’re not around.  Something is missing.  Someone, actually.  

Today, you’re seventeen.  When did you get to be this person?  This big, almost grown up, person.  While I miss the Jamie I could appropriately call “Mini Man”, I enjoy you as you are today.

Please know I’m not proud of you simply because you’re a good student and a great musician.  I’m proud of you because of who you are.  You are you, and nobody else is.  While I love your cooking and your keen sense of humor, I love YOU for who you are.  And while [who you are] is a musician, intelligent person, sports fan, excellent chef, and much more, you will most likely be all kinds of different things in your lifetime.  Yet you will always be you, and again, that’s who I love.  That will never change.  
Being your mother is a blessing.  It has been from the beginning.   I can’t imagine, seventeen years later, any other life than the life our family has because you’re a part.
Feliz cumpleanos, mi fabuloso hijo.  [and happy Groundhog Day, too!]

Happy 17

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