Dear (sweet, God-Loving, smart,) Boy of mine,
We were driving and discussing how you don't have a cell phone a few weeks back and I said, "I will consider allowing you to have a cell phone next year when you turn 15."
I couldn't believe that i had said those words!!!
"Next year when you turn 15!!!??"
You were only 13, but only weeks away from a birthday.
This fall you entered another school season of being the "big man on campus" LITERALLY!!! Not only are you a top dog 8th grader at school, but BOY oh BOY you have GROWN. Last year at your birthday you were about caught up to your ole' mom in height. This year there is no need to squint. You have surpassed me in height. Even when I'm in heels you are taller than me. I know, I know, one of these days I will find myself looking up at your brothers too, but let me get use to looking up to you first, ok? :)
Not only have you grown physically this past year, you have really matured from a kid into a teenager. You continue to make me proud in all that you do. You chose to spend your spring break volunteering for a lunch program for kids who may not otherwise receive lunch on days when they aren't in school. You ran the powerpoint for VBS at our church and run it every Sunday for service. You chose to spend most of your summer growing in your faith by attending a leadership camp, going to Green Pastures for a Martial Arts camp focused on Defending your Faith and serving in St. Paul, MN on a mission trip. We actually had conversations about you wanting to be away for another week of camp this summer but I selfishly wanted you home instead and wanted you to have some down time. You are truly your happiest when you are in those settings among other peers who are strong in their faith and Loving the Lord. I have been blessed to be with you a few times, watching from the back, seeing the different person you are there compared to the person who deals with the world within his school walls. It's hard to be a teenager trying to fit in. You are choosing to store up your treasures in heaven, not here. You will look different to your peers who have made and will continue to make different choices. I will continue to pray for you so that you can find the perfect balance between continuing to glorify God in your choices and feeling like you fit in among your peers. God has great plans for you, I just know it. I'm excited to to watch and be your support and encourager.
You gave football a try again this year.
You remained in one piece!! You played hard and really began to understand the game. Last year when I'd pick you up from practice you were beat. This year when I'd pick you up from practice you were pumped up!!! I had the best time watching and cheering for you from the sidelines. This was the first time a fall sport ended that I was a little sad to see it end. I had so much fun watching you play football and I thank God you didn't get hurt. It's rough out there!
Even though you are a cool teenager now, I did enjoy seeing you "play" this summer while we were on vacation. You and your brother just loved digging in the sand along Lake Michigan. Don't forget to be a kid. I often tell you to "Just enjoy where you are now at the age you are now" because I don't want you to miss out on the blessings of today. Life is short and you will be grown up before you know it and needing to make adult decisions. So keep on digging.
By the time I sit down to write you next birthday letter you will be in high school. It seems like I was just freighting over you beginning middle school. SEE! Life does go fast.
You aren't a big fan of mom's hugs anymore. I thought that maybe I should just stop if you didn't like them and figure out a different way to let you know I love you. But God placed in my life the wisdom of another mom who had raised boys as well. She saw me hugging Little Dude as he ran into preschool one morning and she told me, "Don't ever stop hugging your boys. I had boys and even if they don't like it, keep hugging them because one day they may want you to hug them again and if you have stopped hugging them you'll never know."
So curl up in the fetal position all you want, I will never stop hugging you. I don't care how tall you get, I don't care how old you get, I will never stop hugging you.
Never forget how special you are to me...YOU made me a mom and I LOVE being a mom; I LOVE being YOUR mom. I love our good conversations, I love shopping with you, I love watching you play football, I love watching you play nicely with your brothers, I love watching you grow in your faith, I love your humor. I will never stop cheering for you.
Lots of Love and Happy Birthday!!!