Real Families, Real Stories
Erik you are eighteen years old today. Eighteen. I can barely fathom it. Oh, the things we have been through!
We made it, son. We made it to adulthood. How many times have I wondered if we would? All the battles, challenges, obstacles, and failures. All the tears, breakdowns, tantrums, and hysterics. All the defeats and disappointments. The trials, and the trials, and the trials! All the therapy, education, tutoring, and advocacy. And behavior modification. Oh yes, the grueling behavior modification.
Through all this, you never gave up. Not on yourself, not on me. Never on me. Not ever on me.
I applaud you. I applaud your life, your strength, your kindness, your generosity. I live for you. For your joy, your laughter, your embrace, your love. Your untainted, unburdened love.
I congratulate you on your successes, your achievements, your victories. They belong to you and you alone.
I thank you for seeing me through and keeping me going. For the hugs when your instincts declared my needs to your heart of hearts. For the intense enjoyment you get over the ultimate nerdy side of me, to which you are the only witness. For your wild, spontaneous humor so often responsible for lightening a heavy mood.
I am indebted to you for the tears that spoke eloquently of your own heartache from time to time. For the celebratory ecstasy over the little, beautiful pleasures which would otherwise have gone unnoticed. For the emphatic gestures you implement to get your message across, just another source of amusement. For teaching me about emotional purity and forgiveness.
Yes, son, we made it! Happy Birthday to You!
We want to feature your stories for our Real Life, Real Stories campaign. We are looking for stories between 300-600 words. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org