Yesterday was my elder son’s birthday. He turned 16. It is the age that most parents of little ones dread, and the age that makes parents of teenagers moan. The middle of the teen years. On the cusp of getting his driver’s license…
But my son is spectacular. Words couldn’t do justice to how much I respect and love this kid. He is truly a beautiful person.
There are few people on this earth that I’d rather be with than him. He knows how to make everyone feel comfortable, and part of that will probably include making those around him laugh. He is hilarious, spontaneous, and genuinely entertaining. Nothing about him is forced – he just is naturally funny.
But he also is warm, kind, and creative. He is the one in our family that always has no money, but only because he is so, so generous. If money gets in his hand, his only thought is of to whom it should go.
And he loves to celebrate others. He is the one who can be found standing on top of a chair creatively and intricately hanging streamers to celebrate someone else’s accomplishment or birthday. When my eldest daughter took the SATs – just took them, not having received her scores yet – he orchestrated a family party for her because he knew how nervous she had been. He always seems to notice those who need or deserve celebrating.
He volunteers with a nonprofit organization called WyldLife, the middle school version of Young Life. Through this volunteer work, he connects with middle school kids from our innercity neighborhood, modeling and expressing God’s love. He facilitates play/relational time, listens to their stories, and tries to create a safe place for them to be understood. All on his own. We didn’t make this connection for him, nor do we attend or participate in the organization. He does it out of a love for the kids and a belief that he has something to offer – which he does.
He is detail oriented, logically thinking of the steps it will take to get from point A to point B, and he has the patience to get there. He breathes math like it is oxygen, and can solve most equations, without effort – often times not knowing how he got the correct answer.
However, he also is amazingly creative. He is an artist who loves photography and computer graphics.
I love being able to say that I’m his mom. For all of the mistakes that I’ve made and for all of the quirks that I have as a parent and as a human being, I sit back in awe and recognize that he turned out beautiful in spite of me. I can’t WAIT to see where his life takes him. I just hope that, wherever it does, it keeps him near to me. I am a better person because of his influence in my life.
Happy birthday, buddy!