In honor of Cody turning 18 I have written him the following letter....I hope he doesn't mind me sharing it.
When you came into my life I was a 21 year old girl. You turned me into a Mother. Words cannot express the love I have for you, how proud I am of you or how blessed I have been to call you my son. When I was a kid I used to joke about how I wouldn’t mind having children, so long as I didn’t have to birth them, and they came to me with the ability to reason. God heard me loud and clear and his blessing to me was you. You have taught me so many things through the years, but the first thing of all was absolute unconditional love. I always knew that I could 100 percent be myself around you, because a child’s love is unconditional. You have seen me at my best, and my worst, and loved me through all the good times and bad. I have done the same for you.
When you were three you were my Mr. Man. I took you everywhere I went and you were my sweetest little companion. I remember the first time I took you to the store. You wanted something and I said “No.” You threw a fit and I told you that “You will never get anything from me by being naughty. Good behavior is rewarded, not bad behavior.” I think I may have been the first person to ever tell you no...at least you acted as though I was. But, I also think that because of the boundaries I set for you, you actually respected me more and loved me more because of it. You quickly learned to use your charms on me, would climb in my lap, flash that beautiful smile, tell me you loved me and then ask to go for a walk. The walk consisted of walking until you were tired and then me carrying you back home. I knew the drill, but nonetheless every time would take you for a walk. On our first Halloween together, you got tired and couldn’t walk any further. There was a stroller available for you, but you wanted to be carried by “My Jenny” instead. Of course I obliged...who could resist such a request.
With every year that passed I remember thinking that you just kept getting cooler and cooler. Every age was my new favorite age with you...until puberty. At that point we had some troubles. Noone could make my blood pressure rise like you! That’s for sure. But then you leveled out and were my cool kid again. Through all the years, laughter, tears and lessons I continue to be amazed by not only how much I love you, but also by how much you are growing and learning. My Dad has always said that with kids you just have to keep talking and talking and hope and pray that the lessons will sink in. You have been a good listener. There were times when I wasn’t sure you were hearing us, but then you would do something to prove me wrong about that.
Now you are 18 years old. A Man. And you know I don’t use that word lightly. A man to me is not the age. A man is someone who takes on responsibility and follows through with those responsibilities. A man is honest. A man works hard. A man thinks before acting, is kind and a person to be proud of. Anybody can turn 18....but not everyone can be a man. I am proud to say that you have become a man that your father and I can be proud of.
Thank you for every year that I have been blessed to call you mine. And for the chance you gave me to be your Mom. Words cannot express how grateful I am that you gave me that opportunity. I love you Sweet Sunny Son, with all of my heart.