He’s Not a Baby Anymore.

Today is Dylan’s 14th birthday. There’s no longer any doubt: he’s a teenager.

I spend every day thinking about Dylan. I think about his issues, his ADHD or whatever it is, his behavior in school, his grades, his future. He’s a frustrating kid. His gifts far outweigh his problems; his talents are extreme and beautiful, like he is. But I focus on the negative, rather than the positive, far too often – and I forget to remind him of his inner beauty, his brilliance, his inner light.

Then again, I worry too much.

I try too hard. I give him too much. I take away too much. I discipline him too often. I don’t discipline him enough. I take away his privileges too often. I don’t take away his privileges enough.

I am too involved. I need to step back. I want to be there for him. I want him to be independent. I want him to advocate for himself.

I advocate for him. I put him in a new school, a new environment. He gets new teachers, new friends. Did that work? No. Does anything work?


And it’s his birthday. Today is his birthday. And all those thoughts – the thoughts that occupy every waking hour on any other day – those thoughts all go right out the window.

All I can think today is, He’s not a baby anymore.

I still see him so clearly, toddling in my direction with that huge, gorgeous smile on his face – running as fast as his tiny legs would move. Smiling all the time, beaming even, curious, excited, thrilled to be alive. Dylan smiled constantly.

I wouldn’t ever want that baby back, now that I know him now. I don’t miss those days, the exhaustion, the constant need to be on the lookout.

But on his 14th birthday, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic for that smile.



  1. Janet Moore says:

    I remember being in the car with Dylan and Shane (within the past couple of months), and they both said you were an “awesome” mother. My gift to you on Dylan’s birthday is that reminder.

  2. Lorrie says:

    Happy Birthday Dylan!

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