Sunday, June 24, 2007
Happy Birthday, my son.
21 years ago to this very minute, you came, screaming and red-faced, into the world. You've been my greatest joy ever since. My reason for getting up in the morning when things were at their worst and my last prayer as I close my eyes at night. I can honestly say, I've loved every hour of being your mother so far. (There were some MINUTES in there, however....*G*)
I used to go into your room at first and watch you sleep. Just stand there by your crib, barely touching you, and feeling you breathe. I was simply astounded that such a perfect little person had grown within my body.
I watched you discover your world - first your own hands, then mine, then everything. You didn't crawl for long; it felt like you went from creeping along to flat out running in a matter of days. I used to tell your Grandpa that you only came equipped with two speeds: Fast Forward and Full Stop. You'd be banging around the living room and there would be a sudden silence. I'd hurry in, sure you were into something, and there you'd be - totally asleep on the floor, seemingly between one step and the next.
I watched you excel in Boy Scouts and anything to do with the outdoors and working with your hands, and merely tolerating the more academic pursuits that I love. We are totally different, but it was still always, "you and me against the world, kid." You are a delightful blend of me, Grandpa, and your daddy back in the good days. You know you have his chin, not Grandpa's? And that 'stubborn German chin' speaks well of your determination now that it's tempered with Grandpa's English pragmatism and dose of Grandma's good Scots work ethic.
I know you'll succeed in whatever you put your mind to. Not many 16 year old boys can step up to the plate and become the man of the house, and at 18 hold their mother at their father's funeral and then turn around and enlist in the Marine Corps 4 months later.
I can not express how proud I am of you. JC, stay as safe as your honor will let you, my beloved son.