Today my baby turned 15.
I love you. Today you turned 15, actually it was 24 minutes and 15 years ago that you were born. Wow, I can't believe it's been that long. You have been such a blessing in my life. I feel so privileged to have you for a son and to have spent the majority of your days with you.
It seems like yesterday you were learning to crawl, jumping in your Johnny Jump-up and climbing on everything, jumping off it and yelling, "Watch this Bubba!" I couldn't eat a bit of chocolate without you smelling it from the next room and still look to you when my chocolate stash has been compromised.
When I watch you with your friends I smile. You are a good friend, trustworthy and loyal. Your laughter makes me laugh and brings a sense of joy to my heart. You are the best big brother Justin could ask for, you are patient and loving, kind and generous, at times. You are the hardest worker I know and have helped me in more ways than you can ever imagine.
I've always said God gave you to your father and I to raise us. We were so young and immature when you came into our lives, I'm still in awe that they let us take you home from the hospital. You were so frail and tiny in size but ever so big in heart and life. You took the NICU at Dartmouth by surprise when you began to make noises at 2 months premature and under 24 hours old; you stole my heart the second I saw your face. You have brought more love and joy to our lives than I ever could have imagined, you have in some strange way helped raise us and now look at you, entering your 16th year of life.
Thank you for being you.
I know I'm not always the greatest mom on the planet, I've yelled a few too many times, not given you 100% of me as I should and have lacked in my parenting skills I'm sure; forgive me for that, but know that your Father in heaven never yells and condemns, always give you 100% of Him and doesn't lack any good thing.
As I watched you sleep tonight my heart fluttered with excitement and shuttered with fear. I am so excited to see where your journey will take you and fearful of the bumps that will arise on the way. Part of me wants to go ahead of you, smooth things out, make the path easier, but I know it's the divets that will shape and form you. You will be shaped and formed into a wonderful, godly young man.
Listen to what everyone has to say and love everyone for where they are at. Dance. Eat well and steer away from caffeine. Recycle. Be kind to your brother and put others before yourself. Spend time everyday outside and read. Get plenty of sleep and drink orange juice often. Keep in touch with the people from your youth, the bond you share with them now will help carry you in the future. Smile. Don't take things personally and pause before you speak. Travel. Vote. Accept those who vote/think/believe differently than you, enjoy the freedom the two of you share. Love. Love more than anything else. Love your neighbor, your enemy, your God. Keep your eyes on heaven and your heart devoted to Christ, in the end His Word is all the advice you'll ever need.
I love you my little one and I look forward to doing life with you another day, another year, another 15.
With all my love,
15th party pics...
Big brother Branden.
The gang, the poor van- it's getting old, just look at the roof. It's been through a lot with you guys.
Your independence is growing.
With your Mimi. How lucky you are.
Now we enter the driving years....