on your birthday
I remember holding you
for the very first time
and how good you smelled
all clean
and snuggled into me
I remember
what it felt like
becoming a mom

on your birthday
I remember our early adventures
to the canal
to the library
to school
to nature
hand in hand
or side by side
growing into
who we are

on your birthday
I remember the
and joys
of your teenage years
as you did your job
of breaking free
and making mistakes
like we’ve all done
and mostly survived
cheering you on
cowbell in hand
reveling in the
risks you were taking
to grow into
your true self
and coaching as best as I could
when you’d let me
when those risks crossed the line

on your birthday
I remember
each phase of your life
and what it felt like
to be your mom

and through it all
I have loved you
without reservation
without hesitation
and with the
of a mama bear
with her cub
and now
with such admiration
at the man whom you
have grown to be

I see all of these “yous”

on your birthday
I sing for the
baby you were
the toddler you grew into
the teenager you strove to become
and the man you’ve evolved into

I love you, Son

Jennifer Gurney lives in Colorado where she teaches, paints, writes and hikes. She is a newly published poet, at age 59, with nearly 200 poems in print thus far. Jennifer has also published commentary about poetry. During the pandemic she joined the online poetry community of The Daily Haiku.