Happy Birthday, Awesomeness!

April 29, 2017

I can’t believe you are 13. Your child-soul is fighting hard against your adult-body, but life and growth follow the pattern God designed, and whether we like it or not, you are growing up. I am amazed by you. Every. Day. (I can hear your playful response in my head, “Yeah! I am pretty amazing!”)

Your sweet, little stuttering voice has given way to a deep manly voice that only breaks when you giggle. Your bright orange hair has darkened, leaving only a faint trace of the “read-head” you used to be, and the redhead temper has faded as well. (Thank you, Jesus!) 🙂  The fiery, strong-willed spirit of a defiant toddler now has a voice. You’ve changed, and you’ve stayed the same. You know who you were, and who you are, and who you are meant to be. You have grown to recognize the value in how God made you (as have we), and you have taught us SO MUCH about His goodness, His grace, and His creativity.

We used to call you our BULLDOZER. You plowed through anything in your path and were not deterred by stumbling or even falling. You were tough as nails, and we feared a future of frequent-flyer miles in the ER. You were loud, and bold, and in a constant state of motion. You have been our real-life example of inertia, and we now know for certain that an object in motion TRULY will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. 🙂

I often find myself watching you and admiring your handsomeness, your gentleness, your contagious smile, and your magnetic personality. You put others at ease. Well, okay… you put other kids at ease…and you put Daddy and I at ease…but you make some adults very, very tense. 🙂 HA! That’s okay, though. Your easy personality draws others in, and kids of all ages find joy in friendship with you.

You will not be contained. Tight spaces, tight clothes, anything that prohibits your freedom of movement crushes your spirit and ignites the fight in you. Just like when you were a little man fighting to be free of our arms restraining you, you are still full of fight for freedom. You pursue freedom and you promote it.

Remember the time you asked me why in the WORLD I would spend time putting on make-up instead of just looking “regular”? To you, “regular” is better…more honest…more free. You challenge my way of thinking, and I am a better person because of you.

I am amazed at the maturity you show in valuing your childhood. It seems ironic to call it maturity, but it really does take a wise soul to appreciate this time in your life. You have a Peter Pan mind-set and have zero interest in growing up and being forced to become a responsible adult. You TREASURE the freedom of being a child and I love that you LOVE being a kid. It makes me smile to picture you as a grown man, looking polished and refined on the outside, but – no doubt –  keeping the child alive on the inside.

Even though you don’t want it to happen, I see it happening, sweet boy. You are growing up. You have passed me in height and could now lift me more easily than I could lift you. It’s not just your physique and voice that announce your manhood, but also your willingness to lay down yourself for others. You stop what you are doing to tend to the needs of your baby brother or sis without a single complaint. You jump at the opportunity to help someone to understand something. You are a natural teacher and a leader.

While I will always treasure your childhood, as you do, and fondly remember your roly-poly baby days, your bulldozer toddler days, your spinning through the halls elementary years, and your transformational teen years, I look forward to seeing each step of your growth into manhood. I admire and respect you and can’t wait to see how the Lord uses your life for His glory.

Happy Birthday!

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