Congratulations Mr Eighteen {Living Outside the Stacks}

My dear sweet boy young man, you were our surprise. As in nine days before you were born, we found out you’d been in there just chillin’ — synching your heartbeat to your sister’s, matching her breath for breath and kick for kick. Never letting on that you were there.

As I sat in the NICU staring at your little face, I was filled with so many things: love, hope, insecurity, amazement, gratitude, but, mostly, fear. We hadn’t had much time to prepare for two babies, much less a little boy. But I knew we’d make it.

And make it we did, through chipped teeth, black eyes, emptied fish tanks, “spots”, and countless boxes of macaroni and cheese. We’ve survived first steps really, dude, hands behind your back and night time driving did you know it’s possible to live with your heart in your throat.

It hasn’t always been easy. Seriously, what is it about the ages twelve to thirteen? But we came through it so much stronger. The tears have turned to laughter, the sighs have turned to, well, deeper sighs, mostly on your part – I know the gas gauge is there for a reason but why should I have to pump gas in the rain when I have you.

You’ve grown into a young man whom I’m proud to call my son. We’ve done our best to raise you to be a strong and independent young man who thinks for himself. But I’m your mom, so I do have a few words of wisdom for you:

  • Walk with God always
  • Dad and I will always be here to support you
  • Your sisters are your biggest fans
  • Honor above all
  • Treat women the way you’d want your sisters to be treated

Now, go put gas in my truck!

I love you,