Today, my youngest son Hayden turns 19 years old. Yep, it was 19 years ago today that I was blessed with a child that was a complete and unexpected surprise. At 36, I had no intention of having any more children, but God had a different plan.

Hayden is the child that would change me in ways that I never saw coming. At his birth, he became all the stars in my night sky and poured more love into my heart than I ever thought possible. He was my baby boy, and God's special gift.

I know the title of this article sounds weird but bear with me.

Together, Hayden and I are like the yin and the yang. Our personalities are so similar that we seem to connect on another level. The like-mindedness and personalities we share are a blessing and a curse. We can laugh until we can't breathe, and then fight with shouting, verbal fencing, and lawyer-like cross-examinations until I cry and he usually walks out. It's not pretty, but we are both very passionate, opinionated, and stubborn. Once we cool off, it's like nothing happened. We say we're sorry and start laughing again.

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Ever since he was a baby, he has always been with me, by my side. Except for a couple of years when he lived with his dad because of my morning show schedule, I have spent almost more time with him than my two older children. From, going with me everywhere I went,  driving him to school, sports practices, and games, to even bringing him to work sometimes, we were always together. His sister was in college and his older brother chose to live with his dad in Newburgh instead of moving to Kentucky. So, most of the time, it was just me and Hayden.

For quite a while now, our times together have become less and less. As he should be, he is forming a life for himself away from me. And, I'm proud of him for that. He has been through so much in the last five years. But, for me, it's like my heart is slowly breaking. I know he is going to leave me and it hurts to think about it.

Now, you must understand, my other son lived with his dad and when we saw each other, he was always happy to see me. We would talk and share what was going on during the week at school, or at his job. We still do. Our bond is very special. It was always so great to spend that kind of quality time with him and it made me happy.

With Hayden, I feel like he's breaking up with me. Unlike my older son who still wanted to be friends, Hayden is really pushing away from me. I'm sure, as a mom, I can be very irritating and suffocating. Hell, as a wife I can be that way too. Just ask Quenton.

I can be very clingy when I feel like I might lose you. And, with Hayden, unlike my other children who have always been healthy, I found myself praying several times in the last five years, that God would not let him die. I know that's why I've clung to him so much. But, I couldn't help it. I still can't. It's hard to let go.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that as he graduates high school and is planning his exciting future, I feel like the hometown girl he's leaving behind. The one who loves him the most and will forever be wishing he was giving her a call, texting her, or coming back home to spend time with her. But, as he should, he is slowly breaking up with me and I'm just hoping he still wants to be friends. LOL

For the most part, being the mother of a teenage son is about learning to let go. We love our sons so intensely, our bond is special. Then they go find someone else that loves them like we do and wants to take care of them and their need for us becomes less and less. Don't get me wrong, it's the way it should be, it just hurts. That's the truth.

So, on this very special day when I think about the day when this amazing human entered my life and the nineteen years of time we've spent together, I'm letting go.

Happy Birthday, my fierce, charismatic, fiery, creative, funny, passionate, explosive, intelligent, amazing, and beautiful boy. Mom will be ok. Go live your wonderful life and may all your hopes and dreams come true. I love you. XO


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Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.


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