Twelve years old. Middle school. PBO, it’s safe to say, shit suddenly got real.
When I was twelve, homework wasn’t as effortless anymore, I kept my bedroom door shut more often than I kept it open, my parents got divorced, and I felt certain that the turquoise eyeliner I swiped from my mom’s makeup drawer really added a significant level of sophistication to my lower eyelids. When I was twelve, I reveled in the freedom I had to buy myself a Nestle Crunch, Cool Ranch Doritos, and a Fruit Punch Quickick every single day for lunch, I passed deeply encoded notes furiously with my girlfriends, and I struggled (in what I felt was a very tragic fashion) to gain the attention of the boys I so desperately admired. When I was twelve, I loved my family, but maybe didn’t always know how to show it.
Parker, my sweet P, how will you remember your twelve? What are you going to do with the new freedoms and choices and heartaches and possibilities and decisions and mistakes and temptations and relationships and WILL YOU PRETTY PLEASE JUST PROMISE TO LOVE YOUR MOTHER FOREVER AND EVER NO MATTER WHAT???
You make me PROUD (like, literal chest-puffing). I continue to lose you, bit by bit, to the seductive beauty of the world, and the only thing that makes that fact even slightly bearable is knowing how much you have to offer, and how selfish it would be of me to try and keep you all to myself. But remember, you are my son, and I will fight alongside of you until the ends of time. (I workout regularly now, so I’m a pretty much a huge asset to your team.)
I love you, babe. Happy birthday.