Celebrating the First Year
By Virginia Pillsbury
That first year of life, whether you are the parent or the child, is the very definition of life changing.
My first three children, Mitchell, Allison and Leslie came the old-fashioned way; I gave birth to them. My next two children, Jennifer and Margaret came the not so old-fashioned way; I married their dad and gladly became their mom. Last year, my last child, Shane, came the totally-out- of-the ordinary way; he was 18 and needed a family.
Clearly we needed that sixth child too. Today is Shane’s 19th birthday and also his first birthday with us.
This last year has paralleled the first year of an infant. We have had the privilege of caring for Shane and learning about him: his likes (candy), his dislikes (vegetables), his sense of humor, his love of video games and all of the things that make him uniquely Shane. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve had those stomach lurching moments that all parents know and we’ve been thankful for every moment. Why? Because we love him.
We didn’t have the experience of watching him learn to walk and fall down over and over again or hear him say his first words. Those first experiences came with watching him learn to drive and buy first car and discovering his love of Eminem.
I can’t say that having the first year come at age 18 is any easier than those early months of a developing newborn. We’ve made mistakes; we’ve had amazing joys and sorrows, fun times and very hard times. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
I’ve always thought that I loved the birthdays of my children more than they do – it is always a time of reflecting on the joy of their birth and life.
Happy birthday Shane – so glad you are here.