Today I am grateful for our son Sam on this, his 13th birthday, and for the positive experience wrestling has been for him over the last two years. I am also grateful for normal bloodwork from my recent check-up.

I often use the word bittersweet to describe how I feel on my child's birthday. I am so grateful for his healthy growth and development, for the young man he is growing into. Bittersweet has to do with how quickly the years go by, how rapidly he went from an infant nuzzling with me to this . . . a teenager, taller than both his dad and I, complete with the push for independence and a growly disposition at times.

Bittersweet. But VISCERAL too.

Visceral: relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect; instinctive, deep-down, deep-rooted. Also defined as "coming from strong emotions and not from logic or reason."  That pretty much nails parenthood doesn't it? Visceral for mothers because of the deep-rooted connection that started with conception, was realized through the miracle of birth, and continues every day thereafter. Visceral for fathers because of the instinctive need to protect and provide.

Visceral is more about heart and soul, less about the head. I love my son with all my heart and soul. I wish him the best in his next year, and throughout these pivotal teen years.

And I am deeply grateful to have him in my life; to have the experiences, joys, and challenges of being a mom.

Happy Birthday Sam!