Twelve Years Ago.

Twelve years ago today my life was forever changed, in the best way possible, of course. At 5:55 a.m. the most perfect baby boy entered my life made me a mom. I can't imagine life without my 5 lb 5 oz. (5 is his magic number obviously) baby who has since grown into a 82 pound young man.

I always knew I wanted to be a Mom so it has been the best role of my lifetime. I've treasured every single minute of you (secretly even the bad times). You taught me a lot about life and about truly being in the moment. You literally taught me to stop and smell the roses (and every other flower when you were younger, even the ones that make me sneeze).

You taught me that messes are okay and sometimes even fun. You taught me that boys and dirt just go together. You taught me that I won't pass out when it comes to my bleeding child (blood in any other circumstance is still questionable).

You taught me that tricycles can be driven down the stairs and that at the ago of three that seems like a great idea. You taught me that you can in fact dive in a garden tub and that will result in stitches in your chin. You also taught me that you had to explain that story from the start to everyone in the E.R. It started with Mimi letting you lick the brownie batter off the beater, in case you forgot.

You taught me that sometimes you just need to escape and sit by the pool and relax. Remember that story? You escaped out the window and down the flight of stairs while I was in the bathroom. Scared the ever loving crap balls out of me when I looked out the open window and saw you and the kitty sitting by the pool, with your little feet dangling in the GREEN water, cat by your side. Fun times.

You taught me that taking off your diaper and pooping by the pool in front of company will result in total embarrassment but a great story to tell later on.

You taught me that the terrible two's will come out if you refuse to let the kid play with a knife in a restaurant. Cue the screaming and me sitting on the curb while our friends had dinner without us.

You taught me that you'll totally steal the spotlight at any party. Remember when you had all your Uncle Tyler's friends playing hide and seek at his party? Oh! And do you remember when you dressed like Elvis for Uncle Ty & Aunt Jo's wedding reception and danced like no one was watching, only everyone was watching! This Momma was equal parts proud and embarrassed. Proud because you got moves like I don't have & embarrassed because I think the photographers might have forgotten about the Bride & Groom.

You taught me that I can swim really fast when i'm out in the ocean and see you proceed to take your swimsuit off then your pull up swimmer and I couldn't get your Pa's attention to stop you.

You taught me that I can't be on American Idol because "Mom, you sing really good but you can't be on American Idol because you're my mom." True words spoken from you, son.

You also taught me that Momma Bear exists within this sweet, little mom. When Momma Bear comes out I get a little scared of myself, to be honest.

Above all else you've taught me patience and un-conditional love. The last 12 years of my life have been the best years of my life. I've never prayed so much before. I've also never laughed so much before or cried so much before, either. Being a parent makes you an emotional wreck because you want the best for your kids. You never want to see them hurt or sad & you want, more than anything, to protect them from all the cruelty in this world. At the end of the day I know God always has you and I pray you do, too. Life is good and life is bad, you've had your share of both already and it is because of this that I know you've got life in your control.

You are a brilliant, smart, charming, witty, talented, kind-hearted, caring, silly, fun young man and I can't wait to see what the next 12 year + has in store for us.

Love Always,

Dylan and Grandpa circa 2003

Dylan circa 2003 or 04-mad because he couldn't open a tube of mascara

Dylan and Eddie circa 2006- Hey, what's in the bush?

Dylan and Chance circa 2003

Dylan and Bella circa 2006

And current day
Dylan and Drago

He obviously has a heart for animals.

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