October is an emotional month for me. Both of my boys have birthdays this month. My oldest, Michael, will turn 24 on Sunday. Shaun, my youngest, turned 21 on Monday. MY BABY IS 21! I never thought I would have an opportunity to say that. And for all the heartache, sleepless nights and mean Mom calls, I am so grateful for both of them.

What I am struggling with right now is remembering them as babies. I don’t want to forget how they smelled, the soft silky feel of their skin and the giggles. I want to always remember dancing cheek to cheek with them and the weight of their head on my chest as I sang to them at bedtime. I want to remember the sweet voices asking me to “sing more mommy”. And the sleeping, nothing sweeter than watching a sleeping baby.

We had such a routine with the boys. I was a working mom. We always ate dinner together and then had a bit of playtime with them. Then we would start the evening routine with a bath, bedtime stories and singing. David and I would take turns with them. We would both always kiss them goodnight and say prayers with them.

I can’t stop growing older and neither can they. The memories that I want so much to remember are being replaced with new ones. Family vacations, participating in races, having “life” conversations with them. I am proud. Both of them are well rounded, courteous and have big hearts. Do they make me crazy mad sometimes – Yes! There are some things in each of them I would love to tweak but overall, I would not change anything about their personalities or who they are as a person.

They still make me laugh, cry, get angry, frustrated and smile. Most of all they bring joy to my life and remind me how lucky David and I are, and that we did a pretty good job of parenting. Their futures are not set and there will be plenty more memories made as we watch them build their lives.

Michael and Shaun, thank you for being the individuals that you are and for making my life interesting, fun, never dull and full of great memories. Keep growing and striving to be your best self. You can make your future anything you want it to be. Most of all, I want you to be happy and know that from the moment you were conceived, you were loved. That has never changed and never will.