Looking back over the years of birthday posts, I find that I almost always begin with, “I can’t believe…”. Somehow I am always stunned by the progression of days becoming another year passing in the lives of those I love. Every year.
Except this year. I am not surprised, and I find it easy to believe, that my eldest is 16. Today. This one who began the completely life altering moment of making me a mother. This one who has delighted us from the beginning with such a happy countenance, has begun to carry the mantle of manhood already.
Every year there is more character revealed, more maturity. Every year we begin to see more and more the man you are becoming. Your humor, patience, wisdom…they all continue to develop in such a fantastic way. You will forever be the boy with big blue eyes, filled with chuckles and wonder…but now you are also the young man with patience and his own opinions.
I think every year I refer back to the pastor in Vancouver, BC who taught one Sunday on parenthood. He told us not to say, “I am so dreading the teen years”, as we hear so often, but instead to affirm that we look forward to our kids growing and maturing. We look forward to the teen years and seeing the adult beginning to overshadow the child.
He was right, and he was not asking us to lie. The teen years have been great. You have matured into the big brother everyone wishes they had.
Example and friend.
Cohort. I love listening to you and Nate talk now and break into laughter. I love the companionship.
You continue to delight and have curiosity, something I hope continues the rest of your life. Keep screaming at the hockey games, keep laughing uncontrollably at things you find hilarious. Keep reading people like Chesterton. It is good for you.
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered. – G.K. Chesterton
We are so thankful for who you are. Today. Yes, for who you are becoming, but in this moment we are so thankful for today. You make us laugh, you remind us when we act in ways inconsistent with what we say we believe. You play and keep us young. You cheer every one of us on. We are better because you are part of our family, and so thankful another year has rolled around so we can celebrate.
Laugh hard today, eat many tacos. Read something significant. Be kind to your siblings when you can, and tough on them when they need it. Sleep until noon sometime this week. Find something that makes you feel wonder.
Happy 16th birthday, my man-child. So glad you came along.
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.” – Buechner