Today my firstborn turns 18.

Where did 18 years even go? I feel like it was just a few months ago I held him for the first time. Just a few weeks ago he took his first steps.

Is this how my mother felt the day I turned 18?

Mark has lived with my mother since he was about 18 days old. His father and I split and neither of us was capable of caring for him and so my mom stepped up and offered to do what we couldn’t.

At a young age, my mom knew something was off with Mark. What we thought was a hearing problem turned out to be Autism. My mother did what my mother does best and made a plan of action.

My mother was presented with a list of things her grandson would never do and a daughter who could hardly care for herself let alone be helpful to either of them. Don’t worry she wasn’t all alone Mark’s kick-ass Aunt Tori stepped up and has stood by his side since day one.

For the first year and a half of that boy’s life, I was an addict and he rarely saw me. For years to follow I was in and out and as unstable as they come.

My son didn’t have the mother he deserved for so much of his life. I was in and out and never quite stable but he has ALWAYS loved me. He has always welcomed me into his world even just a little bit at a time. He never seemed to hold my absences against me he just enjoyed the time I was there.

I am still not a great mom but I am a much better one and a much more present one and the things I have seen have left me in awe of this boy. Of my boy.

Over these last 18 years, I have watched my son do things we were told he wouldn’t. I have watched this amazing human grow and change and shine so bright the sun looks dark.

He has put in the time and effort to learn and overcome. He has stolen a place in the heart of everyone he has ever met.

No, the road has not always been smooth and he hasn’t always been easy I mean he’s a human and until very recently a small one (I’m lying that child has been taller than me since 14 🤦‍♀️🙄). So of course there was a lot of learning as we go, but he never gave up.

Mark has had a strong and loving support system his whole life but I don’t think he knows how much of a strong and loving support system he has been for those around him.

Mark, my sweet amazing boy I am so incredibly proud of you and beyond honored to be your mother. Thank you for showing me a whole world of things I would never have known about if it wasn’t for you.

I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.

Abraham Lincoln