September 19, 2017
I started writing letters to you before you were even born. At that point, we did not know if you were a boy or a girl, but we dreamed of meeting you and filled our time completing silly quizzes with old wives’ tales trying to predict whether you would be Hunter or Kaitlyn. We decorated the nursery and spent evenings watching you kick and move under the ice cream bowl resting on my belly. (My poor rib-cage could attest to your soccer-player potential even then.) I wrote you letters expressing my love for you and my dreams of what life as a Momma would be like. ❤ You were a dream come true, my son. I know that sounds sweet and nostalgic, but for real…my dream came true the day you were born. 😊
I would have to look back at my letter-writing journal to tell you the date for certain, but sometime around April 2002, I had one of many crazy pregnancy dreams. Usually these dreams involved really weird things like seeing the entire outline of a baby body bulging from my stomach. Some nights, I dreamed you were a girl. Other nights, you were a boy, but the dream I’m talking about here is the one that involved nothing more than dreaming you would be born September 19th. I woke up and told Daddy about it. It was so strange to simply dream a date, so of course, I wrote about it in my journal. You were due September 24th and first-time moms rarely deliver early, so it was worth a laugh and a journal entry, and then life moved on.
When labor pains began late at night on September 18, the realization hit Daddy and I at about the same time. As we gathered our things to head to the hospital, I said, “Do you realize what this means?! This baby is coming on September 19th!” We were both amused and amazed. You really were a dream come true in every way.
We felt like we were in a scene from a sit-com as we sped into town headed for the hospital. Labor pains were well under way with only seconds between contractions, when we heard a siren and saw flashing lights swirling behind us. I rolled my eyes and laughed in between breaths. Daddy talked quickly and the officer was observant, so we weren’t stopped for long. Instead of keeping us, he called ahead to the hospital, and the labor and delivery nurses met us at the door, ready to begin providing care. In a few short hours, we went from not knowing what to expect to holding a beautiful, perfect baby boy in our arms. You even came with a “little boy hair-cut” as Mamaw called it, your dark tresses parting naturally in a typical manly “do”.
Just as you gave us our introduction to parenthood, you have introduced us to each new phase of raising children and you have filled them each with joy. Your enthusiasm and zest for life are contagious. You are tough, hard working, determined, driven, and talented. You give 100% in everything you commit yourself to, and you hold yourself and others to a high standard. You are a go-getter and there isn’t much you aren’t willing to try. I love your sense of adventure and your courage. Just this summer, we rode a 200 ft free-fall ride together, and I suspect that someday we’ll share our first sky-dive together.
Today’s adventure was taking you to complete your written test to earn your driving permit. I loved sharing high-fives, smiles, and hugs with you, and then quickly sending texts to Daddy and family to share the great news.
You are such an amazing young man, and as much as I adored you as an infant, a toddler, a little boy, and a pre-teen, each phase of your growth has only made me admire you more and be more grateful for God’s goodness and grace in your life and ours. For the past three years or so, you have had a passion for learning to understand and defend Christianity. You’ve studied God’s Word and learned from some of the greatest apologists around. You have a deeper understanding of what you believe than many adults, and you desire to live a life of obedience to Christ. You are a reader and a thinker: an articulate, intelligent young man. You’re also incredibly talented, playing guitar and clarinet and attempting to keep your great singing voice under wraps. You are a strong soccer player and a fast runner. As a freshman in high school you’ve taken on the challenge of two varsity sports concurrently (soccer and cross-country) while simultaneously serving in your school’s student council, participating in Klife, and competing in debate and marching band. You are eager to try it all because you love a challenge, and because you are focused, driven, and determined to prepare yourself for your future. You’re also a big goof who will entertain your youngest siblings or your friends and will occasionally let down your walls completely, allowing your sense of humor to shine through. You amaze us, son.
We take great joy in being your parents, and we are grateful for the privilege of guiding you through life. Your fifteenth birthday has been a special one, complete with a surprise party with some pretty awesome friends and the driving experiences you’ve been dreaming of. Lots of dreams are coming true for you, sweet boy, and many are still yet to come. Regardless of the details of the future, you can rest assured that we’ll be standing by cheering you on and thanking the Lord for the gift of you. Happy Birthday, Baby!
3 John 1:4
I know that feeling…
the feeling that people are waiting for you to fail.
You’ve taken on too much, they say.
It can’t be done.
It’s not possible.
The task before you is great.
The hard work and gut-wrenching effort required is not lost on you.
You are made of hard-work, determination, grit that others don’t fully understand.
You get it.
You believe you can do it anyway.
So do I.
So do I, Son.
I am not waiting for you to fail.
I am standing by to watch you FLY.
September 6, 2017