Happy Birthday

This morning I crawled into my son’s double size bed. I said “15 years ago today, you were a chubby little baby that I could hold on my lap. Now you’re huge and all muscle”. My son is a young man and I am very proud that he is becoming the young man I expected him to be, I imagined him as an intelligent, strong, confident leader.

I had my first son when I was 19 years old. I hadn’t finished school yet but St. Johns High School let me bring him while I finished. I made it on the honour roll for the first time in my life. I realized that I now had someone to be responsible for and I wanted to give him ‘all the things I never had’, just like most parents, and I also wanted him to not have to deal with all of the challenges I had, growing up in the north end.

He was a good child, funny and witty, not too stubborn. When he was 9 years old, I suddenly found myself to be a single parent. I had two more children with dad but he had then decided to move on. Soon my eldest son had a new responsibility of helping me raise his two younger brothers. He was an excellent worker but slowly began to challenge me and when he reached the age 12, our relationship hit a bit of a rocky stage and I didn’t know who he was anymore. I searched for help and advice on how to relate to my pre-teen son, I didn’t want to lose him. I’ve invested so much into him and I committed to never give up. It was hard to get the right advice but I asked all my friends and called every 1-800 number or youth/parent support line. It was one of my close friends that told me “he will be like an alien for a while but he will come back. Just keep telling him you love him.” And with the support of my new boyfriend, who advised me “I’ve never had a teenage son but I’ve been a 13 year old boy”, I made it through. With lots and lots of tears. And one day, he came back to me! Today, he is a strong committed team player. He study’s when there is nothing else to do. He picks up his brothers from daycare and feeds them dinner when I ask him to. He thanks me for every meal and tells me what’s going on with kids at school. He listens to motivational speakers and makes goals. He reaches goals. I am so proud of him and I can’t tell him without crying because he means so much to me that I don’t know the right words to use to express it. He is the son I knew he would be. Happy 15th Birthday honey.

Author: Jessica Dumas

Follow me on Twitter @https://twitter.com/Jessicadumas01 Facilitator, Indigenous Advisor

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