Happy 21st Birthday Josh…May All of Your Wishes Come True

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Josh’s 21st Birthday

How was this possible? I swear that it was only yesterday that I gave birth to him.

When  did my sweet little boy disappear? Where did he go?  And who was this handsome, funny, intelligent young man taking his place calling me “Mom?”

I wish I could say that the past 21 years were happy, carefree ones for Josh. Unfortunately, growing up in our home, with the constant tension, arguing and upheaval, life was not a bed of roses for him.

But today was a special day. A new beginning. A bright future ahead. A cause for celebration. When Josh came home in the evening after work and dinner with his girlfriend, we had a small, intimate family birthday party. As Josh was blowing out the candles on his cake, I noticed that he was taking an exceptionally long time making a wish. I wondered what he was hoping for.

The way we all acted, you would never have known that the night before all hell broke loose in our home. Dick, Ashley and I should have  won Academy Awards for our performances. True to our word, we did not mention the divorce to Josh or ruin his “Big Day” in any way.

Later that evening I was in the basement folding laundry. Josh came up to me and told me that he and his girlfriend had a discussion at dinner that left him feeling sad. I asked him what was so upsetting. His response blew me away. When she asked him what the best days of his life have been so far, he rattled off several milestone events and then said that the day he was most looking forward to was when his parents would get a divorce. I almost fell over in shock.

How devastating to discover that the one thing my son was looking forward to more than anything else was having his parents end their marriage. While I knew that growing up in our home wasn’t paradise, I didn’t realize until that moment how horrible it was for him to be part of our family unit.

While giving Josh a hug, I thought to myself: Happy Birthday, Son. Who could have ever imagined that what you were hoping for more than anything else was about to happen.

Sometimes birthday wishes really do come true.

 

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