|Michael Stephen Branda ~ 7lbs 15oz ~ January 31, 2002|
10 years ago today, you did something that no one else had done or could do. You made me a mom.
|Michael - 11 mths old|
Even as I write that sentence, it is hard to fathom that it has been 10 years. I remember the very moment that I held you for the first time. You were crying, wide-eyed and slimy. I know, totally gross, but that's not the point. The point is that you were wide-eyed and crying. Adding that you were slimy is simply because you are ten and you like gross things.
|Michael's first birthday|
Back to the point... you were crying so loudly that I held you tight and just tried to calm you. Then it happened. You stopped crying.
You stopped crying and I got scared.
There you were... this little, perfect (and slimy) boy. Your eyes were as big as your head and you were looking at everything. Focusing on so much. All of the nurses and the doctor kept commenting about how unusually alert you were.
And there I was. Barely an adult and suddenly, I was in charge of caring and raising a child. Scared. Terrified. FREAKED OUT.
|Michael at about 9 mths|
That was ten years ago.
Today, I am still just as scared, terrified and FREAKED OUT.
|Michael 16 mths, Hannah 3 days|
But first.... First, can I just congratulate myself? You have survived 10 YEARS!! And honestly, with the number of times that you ate things you shouldn't have, crawled places a baby shouldn't be, played with items that were not toys... it's a pretty impressive feat. You should be thankful. Oh and maybe you should thank your dad because I'm pretty sure he saved your life a few times by NOT letting you do things that I probably would have.
Anyway... just because I got you through these ten years alive, doesn't mean that I haven't scarred you for life. Which is probably why I am more scared now, than I was ten years ago. I really think that some of the hardest times of life are coming upon you quicker than I know I am ready for. I just pray that you are.
|Michael at one of his MANY ring bearer gigs.|
Over the next ten years, you will have more to say and more to do than ever before. But more importantly, what you say and do will start to show who you are as a person. You will be forming opinions and perspectives on things that may stay with you that for your entire life.
Well.... it's my job to help you in forming those and well.... God help us both.
|Michael at about 4|
It's going to be hard. But I promise, it'll be hard on both of us. We will probably both make mistakes, but we will both grow. We will both drive each other nuts, but at the end of the day, we'll be grateful for each other. Honestly, that is where my fear comes in... I am so afraid that you'll make mistakes that will hurt. I'm afraid that I'll fail as a mother in teaching you correctly. I'm afraid that you'll become closed-off to hearing me. I've been working with teenagers and young adults for so long that I've seen countless times the strains that many people have gone through. I'm terrified that one day, you and I could have those pains.
|Michael - 2.5 years; Hannah - 1 year|
I know that I have role-played in my mind so many things. "If this happens.... I'll do this... or that..." But it's true that what works for some, won't work for others and who knows what will come our way. I just thought that as we prepare for the next ten years, I should just tell you what to expect from me and what to hold me to for... well... the rest of your life.
|Michael - 3 years. Jaedyn - 3 weeks.|
This is my commitment to you.
I will always be your mother before I am your friend.
I will tell you "no" more than I will tell you "yes".
I will always give you advice, not because I want you to do what I say, but because I've been there before and I don't want you to fail into the traps that I did.
I will always tell you things straight. If it's good, if it's bad, if it needs improvement. I'll tell you.
I will always hug and kiss you in front of your friends because I will always love to watch you blush and I know that you do love the affection.
I will be front-row center for all you ever do and always will be your number one fan.
I will never stop being your mom. Remember that 18 is just a number, so don't talk to me about "when you turn 18..." I'll just laugh.
I will study with you for anything until you are ready for everything.
I will dream with you and for you.
I will listen.
I will lecture.
I will always love you more than anyone else who breathes here on earth.
I will pray.
For you now. For your future.
I will pray.
I love you so very much my little slimy boy.