When my son Brandon was almost 5 years old, he was diagnosed with leukemia. The next several months, we lived in the hospital, just him & I while Eric stayed home on the ranch with our daughters Dallas & Mikayla, protecting them from savage hogs, wild turkeys, and feral dogs while cooking nilgai & venison for 20+ hunters at a time. That was when they became “Daddys Girls” and Brandon became a “Mommas Boy.” Of course I had the natural bonding that occurs with moms and daughters… we share clothes, do midnight make-overs, I taught them how to cook, (oh wait, Eric taught them that!) kissed their boo-boos, and danced barefoot in the living room. Eric and Brandon went fishing, threw a ball to each other, changed the oil & tires on the cars, and all the other father/son stuff that I’m not privy to.
…but those few months together in the hospital, that’s when Brandon figured me out. He got my number. To this day, he can take one look at me and just know. I can’t hide my pain. We can be in the grocery store or at a concert, surrounded by people, and the slightest change in the furrow of my brow tips him off. Without saying a thing, he’ll put his arm around me, kiss my cheek, and throw me a smile that makes my heart leap. He says, “You okay, Mom?” without ever saying a word. He’s growing up now. He towers over me at 6 foot tall, and today is his birthday. There is a lot of wisdom packed in to that 17 year-old brain of his and I’m proud of every moment of his young life. I hope that I have been as good of a mother as he has been a son to me. I especially hope that this birthday and the year that follows is the best he has had so far in life and will continue to get better with each passing year.
I love you, Brandon. Thank you for being you. I could not be more proud of the man that you are becoming.
p.s. That’s 2 Ragweed references in one week! There must be some red dirt on my
cowboy combat boots. Sandy Pants would be so proud!