Hey, World! I’d like to introduce you to your newest adult. Statistically, the United States alone is celebrating 12,000 new adults today (give or take a few), but I happen to know one of them pretty personally.
After all, he lived right next to my heart for nine months.
Here are eighteen things I can tell you about him:
1. He’s handsome. So handsome. Those baby blues will knock your socks off. And he’s charming… but only when he wants to be, and never before 9:00 AM.
2. When I think about this home without him next year, my knees get a little wobbly. So I think, instead, about the fun, fruitful college experience he gets to have and the promising life he’s beginning to navigate on his own. I focus on the wine and chocolate next.
3. Someday, he’ll hire someone to clean his home. Cleanliness has never been his forte.
4. He would exist on Pop-Tarts and cereal if we let him. In fact, when he leaves for college in the fall and we’re not around as food monitors, I’m pretty sure stock in the Kellogg Company will skyrocket. Buy now.
5. When he and Chris discuss Advanced Calculus, my eyes glaze over. Seriously, I don’t even understand the adjectives and articles in those conversations because they’re all wrapped up in equations that boggle my brain. This boy is scary smart.
6. He’ll be the guy cheering loudly next to you at all the college and professional football and soccer games. (And from time to time, he’ll probably have his chest painted.) The only fan who might cheer more loudly and passionately is his Dad (who has moved beyond his chest painting days).
7. He drives too fast and he plays his music too loudly. If you see him speeding, please tell him to slow down. This world has big plans for him.
8. He can make friends anywhere. People love him. They are drawn to him. His personality is huge, his sense of humor sharp.
9. He loves lacrosse so much that when we moved to Mississippi (where lacrosse was an unknown), he brought it with him. His passion inspires me.
10. His feet stink. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced. And his lacrosse pads? We might have to burn them when he’s done playing. Take one step into our garage and I can all but guarantee you’ll provide the matches.
11. When he was little, he once snuggled into my lap with his blankie and his Paddington Bear and said, “Mama, I’m going to live with you forever.” Forever looks very different at four than it does at eighteen.
12. At age three, he began reading billboards from his carseat. We were astounded and gave all the credit to Richard Scarry and Lowly Worm. I don’t think he’s read for pleasure since. (Except for Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken. He loved Unbroken. He loved Louis Zamperini.)
13. He will not wear Adidas or Under Armour socks with Nike shoes. He’s very protective of the integrity of his favorite brands.
14. Sometimes when he smiles, I get a glimpse of his Dad at eighteen. And my heart explodes.
15. His parental go-to is not me. And even though it breaks my heart a little, I admire and respect his affinity for his Dad.
16. He wants to make a great deal of money. I hope as each year passes, he realizes that although money can buy leisure and things and experiences, it is no substitute for love and compassion.
17. I will never forget the moment our doctor pulled ten plump pounds of Sam from my belly and Chris whisper-cried into my ear, “It’s him! It’s Sam!”
18. He will always be my firstborn, my son, the precious gift who made me a mother.
Happy 18th Birthday, Sam. You’ve become the man of our dreams. XO