Chronic illness, faith, family, hope, encouragment, life

To Chase, on your 16th Birthday

To my precious son on your 16th birthday,

I know it’s cliché but weren’t you just born?  You can’t be sixteen years old!  The years have truly flown by so very, very fast.  I’m sure not fast enough for you because you want to be sixteen and get your license and enjoy more freedom.  Believe it or not, I remember feeling the same way.  I didn’t think the big “milestones” would ever come.  But they did.  And now it seems like yours are coming at warp speed and all I want to do is slow them down!  So on this very special birthday, your 16th, I just wanted to let you know a few things.

First of all, thanks for making me a Mom!  We were over the moon when we found out we were going to have a baby!  You were loved from the day we found out and that love only grows more and more every day.  Everybody was at the hospital when you were born!  You were and are such a loved person.  You know that we lost Pop, my Grandpa, just 3 weeks before you were born.  His death was so unbelievably hard, but knowing that in a few short weeks we would have a brand new baby in the family gave us all so much joy!  And we felt his presence in the delivery room and even at home after you were born.  We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl but I’ll never forget your Daddy crying and saying “I have a son, I have a son”! 

Thank you for teaching me that I was capable of more love than I ever thought possible!  The second I looked into your big, beautiful eyes my heart melted and I have never been the same.  Whether you know it or not, you can still look at me with those big, beautiful eyes and melt my heart even more.   When Granny Polly met you she saw the look on my face and she said, “You didn’t even think you could love another person so much so fast did you”?  She was exactly right!  It’s a love like no other and I would not take ANYTHING for it.  Ever.

Please don’t ever stop asking questions.  From the minute you could talk, you started asking questions.  You still do and that is an amazing quality.  It’s how you learn and whether you think you do or not, you love to learn and know things.  You are so smart.  I don’t think you realize just how much sometimes.  I love watching you learn and figure things out.  I love it when you teach me new things! 

You have a gift of looking at things with a blend of practicality and empathy that is rare in most adults, much less 16 year olds.  You have used this gift with so many of your friends and with your family.  I love sitting down and talking to you because you always put a fresh perspective on things for me.  You help me see the things I should be doing and you point them out.  Use this gift often.  The world needs more of it.

Don’t stop caring for others and taking care of people.  You have always wanted to help do things and take care of stuff.  Even when your Daddy traveled you told me that you “were the man of the house” while he was gone.  And you were!  Even as a toddler you could anticipate what I needed with your brothers before I usually knew.  I hope you know how much I appreciate that.  Don’t stop doing that either.  Always be there for your brothers and vice versa.  One day, you WILL love each other again more than any of your friends and you won’t always fight or argue.  When Garrett was born the first thing you did was crawl up in the bed with us and kiss him so softly on his head and you watched everybody there like a hawk, making sure they were taking care of your “baby brother”.  Then along came Dalton, and I remember you leading Garrett into the room to meet him.  You had on matching “Big Brother” t-shirts that you made, and once again, you kissed him so softly on his little head and then you told Garrett to do the same thing.  Then you both started singing “Jesus Loves Me” to him.  I was so amazed!  It was almost like you and Garrett had organized this whole thing beforehand but you were only 4 and 2 so I don’t think so, lol!  It was just love, pure and simple, Buddy, and when you let it lead you beautiful things can happen! 

Always keep dancing in the rain!  I know that you know what I mean right now, but you and I also danced in the rain a long, long time ago.  Do this with the one you love.  Do this with your kids one day.  Do it by yourself.  You are never to old to dance in the rain! 

Always keep serving the Lord!  You have a heart for Him and His people.  You make good choices, Son, and I’m proud of you!  Keep relying on Him and you will won’t go wrong.  He has huge plans for you and I absolutely cannot wait to see what they are.  No matter what, you will be amazing.  Just trust in Him and allow Him to guide you.   The road will not be perfect, as you have already found out, but if you remain faithful, so will He. 

Never, ever, ever forget that I will be here for you.  Always and Forever!  You are embedded in my heart so deeply and nothing or no one can change that.  Not even YOU!  We really are alike and we do have our disagreements, especially about who is right, but that’s okay.  Moms are the constant thing in your life and they don’t care what you do or don’t do.  They just love you unconditionally. 

Remember this day.  You will have many more milestone birthdays but don’t rush them.  Enjoy each as it comes and count your blessings every single day.  Don’t dwell on the bad stuff or live in the past.  Leave it there and move on.  Live so that you have no regrets.  Think before you speak.  Make sure when you find “the one” that you treat her with manners, respect and love her like Jesus loves the Church.  Believe it or not, at one time I was your “first love” and you wanted to marry me, lol!  I know the girl you pick will be just as awesome as you!  Love fully! 

I could say so many things about you and your sixteen years so far and how much they have touched my life but I hope you get my point from what I have written.  You always kid me about crying when you’ve done certain things, like going to Kindergarten and graduating fifth grade and everything in between.  You don’t even remember all the tears I shed when you learned to walk, talk, etc.  And yes, I’m crying while writing this and I probably won’t stop all day.  YOU, my sweet boy, are a blessing to me like no other.  Can you tell how very proud I am of you and all that you are and that I get to be your Mom?  I believe in you!  I always have and I always will.  And I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK, ALWAYS AND FOREVER!

So blessed to be yours,

Mom

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