Thank you for being you. Now I know that right now that must seem kind of strange because you keep telling me you are not as good as I think you are. But Son, you're WRONG. And well, us moms like to be right, you know?
I remember when you were four years old and Granny got on to me for not cooking my noodles through for the macaroni and cheese. She said they were tough. You leaped to my defense, at all of your noodles and said “I love you tough noodles,Mommy, and that's the most you can love anyone!” That became our family mantra. Every day when I dropped you off at school it was “I love you tough noodles, Mom!”
I remember the morning of 9/11 just over ten years ago. You were sleeping and I woke you up, begging you to get out of your military contract that would be sending you to basic in just three weeks. You looked at me and said “I have to go, Mom, for you, Jeremy and the Munchkin (your nickname for your little sister). It's more important than ever now. America is mine.”
When you were set for deployment, we all drove to Louisiana and said our goodbyes. Again, in a mom-crazed moment I said “Let's get you out of this, Son.” You told me “Mom, you raised me better than that, now not another word. I have to go.”
These are the reasons that I fight for your rights today. These are the reasons that I go Mama on people who ostracize and criticize you. When I hear a druggie or a holier-than-thou person belittle you, I say “He's got a brain injury from defending his country. What's your excuse?”
The other day, I spent the morning playing with your son. I looked at him and said “I love you tough noodles” He smiled and said “I love you tough noodles, Grandma.” The family mantra continues.
Happy Valentine's day, Son. I love you tough noodles.