Twenty-six years ago yesterday, December 9th, I first met my middle son, Garrett Paul Shotwell. He was born a week early. I remember that he cried very softly when the doctor cleared his lungs, but then quickly quieted once they laid him on my chest. He began to look around the room in wonderment as if in a new adventure that he couldn’t wait to check out. I remember thinking how alert he was & how remarkable it was that he seemed to already know he was somewhere new. He had the look of an old soul, which I would later learn he truly was.
Motherhood has been the great adventure of my life. Nurturing, protecting, teaching & loving the 3 small souls that God entrusted me with has simply been the joy of my existence. I ALWAYS told my boys, as I do my grandsons, there is only ONE PERSON in this life who can stop you from achieving your dreams…….yourself. Of course as a parent there were rules & certain things growing up that were non-negotiable…working hard, going to college, being a good citizen of the world. But along the way I tried to encourage them each to follow their own bliss.
Garrett’s road has been a bit bumpy at times. First as a student, his learning disability was challenging but he overcame and is now working on his Master’s Degree. He suffered from childhood epilepsy, but outgrew that with dignity & courage. As a young gay man it took him awhile to grow into his true self & be open with all those who love him. But he’s now happier than I’ve ever known him to be. Loving life, loving God & being the person he was born to be!
Just like the first moment I met him, he’s still as wide-eyed as ever. Exploring the world with a sense of wonderment that I hope he NEVER loses. He’s one of the lucky few. Brave enough to step out of the ordinary & into the extraordinary. He woke up on his 26th birthday yesterday in Paris. He’s on a new adventure in Europe for the next few weeks. I’m so happy for him & can’t wait to hear all the wonderful things he’s experiencing.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY my beautiful son! I love you & am so proud of you!