This post is to my son. He is graduating college this weekend. A long journey it has been. He entered the world at a whopping weight of 3 lbs 10 ounces and an astonishing length of 17 ¼ inches surprising us by coming early by three months. He didn’t even give me a hint that he was coming. The short trip to the hospital we arrived to find I was almost fully dilated. In the first two weeks of his life we almost lost him multiple times due to his heart and lung failing on him. Within those two weeks he gained a full pound. That should have been a red flag that I gave birth to a garbage disposal on two legs.
He now towers over me at over 6 feet and weighs roughly150 lbs. From day one he has been by my side, sometimes getting in between my feet. We did everything together. The pictures show me that. We have been through a lot of ups and downs. But it is magnified when you have a single child.
The awards, the ceremonies, the taxi trips to events, schools and a host of other things for that is what happens when you are a parent. He is a perfect blending of his parents. He is a carbon copy of his dad from head to toe. If I went into court the judge would surely deny any claim I have on him. My mom and mother in law both told me early on I had his chin and ears. You know, the things they tell moms when your child looks nothing like you.
But where he looks like his dad, his personality is me. It is like looking into a mirror. Some days that is fantastic, while others not so much. He has inherited some of his dad’s personality which offsets mine.
No longer is he my little man who was always by my side as I went about my day. Our roles constantly changing as we both got older. He can vote, drive, go to war, marry, have a child, work and a host of other things. I am excited to see where this new journey of his will take him. But he will never get to old to be my little man, my sidekick, my Bo, my son.
The greatest achievement I have every done and nothing I can ever do will top that.
I have never ever applied for a grant of any kind. Yet this year I heard of a literary grant being offered from our Art Council in town. Figured it couldn’t hurt to attend one of the workshops I learned some key tips on how to make the application shine.
I decided to apply for all they could say was no. So by August 25th I filled out the forms, got recommendations from a few people, scanned and printed the budget supported materials that would be in the budget plan and dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s. The grant would run for the entire year of 2014. The waiting game began. I did not literally count the days, we all have lives.
One day in November I walked to my mailbox to find a letter from the council. I dropped all the letters I had in my hand to the payment as I opened it up. Anyone driving or walking by would have seen a craze woman looking at the sky with tears in her eyes as her mail surrounded her at her feet. Only seven people were selected from my county and I was one of them. This has blown me away. I can add this to my resume of accomplishments. The goal of this grant was people in the literary field and how to advance their career to the next level.
I feel truly fortunate that they felt my application deserved the funds that were requested to help me on my next journey. It has given me motivation to try for more grants. For again all they can say is no, right?
This past Saturday I had a celebration. It was the release of my first book, “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Rainforest Adventure” and it was time to enjoy that. I decided to eat out at a local restaurant in town and raise a glass of wine in the air. I could have done this alone and still enjoy the day.
But instead I sent the word out to some friends and writers I knew. What occurred was a gathering of 12 people snuggled close together enjoying and supporting my accomplishment. My friend Robin started it well by sprinkling the table with green stars in Jasper’s honor. That was awesome. She included a gift basket that had a bag of millet sprays for Jasper so he could be included.
Four hours of chatter, laughter and just enjoyment by people who get what I have done. It went by fast as food was eaten, wine was drunk and the day went on by. My book signings won’t be coming for a few weeks so this was the next best thing.
I am proud of myself. This was my goal three years ago when I started this project. I was not going to settle for writing a book to read to my grandchildren down the road. I did not let road bumps deter me. I learned from my mistakes, listened to good advice, and with a lot of time and effort it is now here.
Jasper is oblivious to all of this. He just knows mom gives him shelled almonds and goes on and on how he will be big. So long I pat him on his back, belly,wings, and head he is good.
Life is good right now for my bird and me.