Today is bitter sweet. I am so excited to wish Brandon a happy 16th birthday. But pieces of me are really sad that I am not part of his celebration. Rather than dwell on that with this blog post I will share some really awesome and one not so awesome memories we shared over the years. ...
I met Brandon when he was 8 years old. I met him probably a little too soon, in hindsight. The day after his dad and my first date. We had dinner probably sloppy joe's and played a board game. He was a pretty sweet kid. I really wish I had a picture from that evening. I would love to hold on to him at 8 years old forever.
A little over a year later the decision for his dad and I to move in together was made. During the week of the move his dad was admitted into the hospital for an unexplained illness. That left me playing "mom" and taking Brandon on the tour of his new school. Of course the vice principle assumed I was his mother, so Brandon put her in her place and said "My parents are divorced. This is my dad's girlfriend. She will be my step-mom one day" Just remembering that hurts my heart. The vice principle didn't skip a beat and said "My parents are divorced too. Isn't it cool having two Christmas's?!"
I don't remember how old Brandon was, but it was during Christmas break he curled up next to me on the couch and watched hours of Lifetime movies. It was a great afternoon. Really peaceful.
Brandon's elementary promotion ceremony will always stand out in my mind. He was so handsome in his dress clothes! I am so happy I was able to attend. Promoting from 5th grade to 6th grade ... Such a big moment.
An entire summer we went to Six Flags almost every weekend. Brandon was like me; a total chicken! He didn't want to ride The Ninja with his dad. It turned into him crying and being inconsolable. I have a soft heart and stood up for him later causing a fight between his dad and I taking him to get Dippin' Dots. Which was a total mistake because they melt as soon as they touch your lips and are NOTHING like real ice cream.
Never take a child ice skating unless you are drunk! Jess and I took Brandon ice skating the first winter his dad and I were together. It was AWFUL! No matter how many times I showed him what to do or tried to help him, he just wasn't getting it. And blamed me for his lack of coordination! Needless to say we NEVER went ice skating again. Sad since that is one of my favorite things to do even though I am terrible at it!
I was so scared for Brandon to start high school. I didn't want him to get bullied or labeled a nerd. I think his dad and I scared him more than we should have with all the stories of how he could be picked on. He was fine though. He made it through Freshman year unharmed!
With all good memories there are the bad. Like the first time he yelled back at me "YOU ARE NOT MY MOM" and slammed his bedroom door. You are right Brandon, I am not your mom. But I have always loved you and cared for you as though I was. Deep down I think he understands how my presence made his life that much better.
I have many memories throughout the last 8 years and could go on forever, but I will end here with HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRANDON! You are an amazing kid. I love you kid!