18 years ago today I gave birth to a boy who would change my life in ways I didn’t believe at the time were possible.

He opened the door to a world of love and support I had no idea existed. Through that tiny little baby, my family grew massively and my life took a path that at the time I wasn’t convinced was real.

On this day 18 years ago I made my biggest most selfless decision ever. This was the first time I took the time to think before I acted. To really think about how my next move was going to impact this child and what I could do to save him from the person I was at the time.

Deep in the holds of my addiction, I saw a glimmer of light for the first time in years. It would take 10 more days but the light in those brown eyes led me to sobriety.

These last 18 years have been a roller coaster for us all. Filled with good times and struggles. Love and disagreements. Closeness and fallouts. The one thing that has never changed is the love I have for you.

Now is the time when you decide who you are and who you want to be going forward. These things are likely to change as you continue to grow as a person and that is okay.

You are officially an adult, and so I’m gonna warn you now one of the hardest most annoying decisions you now face every single day is “What’s for dinner”.

I didn’t get that warning so I figured I would at least pass it on to you.

I want you to remember that you have people who genuinely love you. Even when we don’t like or agree with what you think, feel, or do at the end of the day our love is still there.

You are so much smarter that you let people think you are. You know how to get everyone in the room laughing and are more than ready to protect those you love. These are all things that will serve you well in your coming years but always remember there is always room for growth and change is your friend even when it seems scary.

I am proud of you for the accomplishments I have had the privilege to watch you achieve throughout the last 18 years. Big and Small.

As you begin your journey into “the real world” I want to remind you that it gets real very quickly. Don’t go at it alone. Hold on to your support system and reach out when you are in need.

You get that ” I’ve got this” attitude from me and as an adult on the other side of it, I now understand my mother’s frustrations with me at this age.

I will not always agree with the things you do but much like my mother I will sit back and let you live your life as that is what you have been preparing for all this time. To live YOUR life, not the one other people (including myself) have dreamed up for you over all these years.

Just don’t forget that regardless of any of that you have a family that loves you. Even when we don’t like what’s going on we still love you. So when life gets hard and you feel yourself slipping just know that you are not alone.

The world can be a scary shitty place but it’s not so bad when you lean on those around you. Make friends, make memories and most of all make your dreams come true.

Remember you are loved and you are enough.

Enjoy the coming year sweet boy go far and dream big.

Happy Birthday Jacob I love you to the moon and back

Everyone thinks you make mistakes when you’re young. But I don’t think we make any fewer when we’re grown up.

– Jodi Picoult