I first met you when you were 5 months old. Your parents had come back from Louisiana to visit their families. Your dad and I had been friends for a very long time so of course I stopped by to see him and you. You were so cute and smiley. So roly-poly in your red short overalls and striped shirt underneath. You were very happy just to sit and smile at everyone. So cute.
The next time I saw you I was your new step mom. I dreaded that word and all the negative that comes with it. But I was going to make the best of it. You were 15 months old and walking. You were still a very smiley baby. Your big bird shirt was your favorite. Your hair was so curly and so very blonde! We got to take you for your first haircut, I still have some of that hair in your box. It was down past your shoulders, when you came up from the chair you had magically transformed from a baby boy into a toddler, a kid. You looked so big.
You stayed with us on weekends and a lot of other times too. I got to take you to your preschool graduation. You sang and played air guitar and held hands with your girlfriend. You, little boy, were growing up. You called me mom for the first time about this time, completely unprompted, and that Bryan, was the best mom I have ever heard! It meant you chose me. It wasn't forced, you wanted me to be your mom. My heart bursted with pride.
You moved in with your dad and I right before kindergarten. I got to sign you up and take you for your first day. I volunteered in your classroom and was so proud of you. I went to every conference, program, carnival, the school had. Your dad went to Iraq that year and I wanted to make sure you knew how much you were loved. You loved being with your brother and sister. You were such a good big brother.
Shortly after your dad came home we divorced. He and your mom decided it was best for you to live with one of them. I can not even begin to tell you how much this hurt. I was losing my SON and there was nothing I could do about it. I thought I would never get to see you again, never get to be your mom again. I didn't realize until that moment how very much I loved you, needed you around. For that I am forever sorry.
You lived with your dad for a little while, with your aunt and uncle for a few months, and with your mom for a while. In between these moves you were brought back to me for a couple weeks at a time. Every time I had to tell you goodbye was so very hard because I never knew if it would be the last.
Last year though, you came home! You moved back in with me and went to school with your brother and sister. They were so happy to have you home, I was happy to have my whole family, all of my babies, under 1 roof again.
You started Jr High today! I am left wondering where that roly-poly baby boy has gone to. You are growing into such a great young man. I am so very proud of you. I know things haven't always been easy between me and you, but I want you to know that I LOVE you so very much, I am so proud you consider me your mom I couldn't have asked for a better son!
I love you Bryan!