Well, my boy, you are now 14.
As I've thought about what I'd like to tell you in this birthday letter, I am drawn time and time again to the contrast between you and the person I was at 14. I was snarky, sarcastic, angry, and insecure. I took every opportunity to buck the rules laid upon me, and resented the grown up people in my life. I was rebellious and unhappy.
The greatest thrill of my life is that you are, in every single way, the complete opposite of what I was then. You are happy, kind, sweet, and confident. You love and adore the parentals in this house and look forward to time spent together as a family. You obey the rules religiously, and bring logical well-planned arguments for our consideration when you think rules should be altered. Quite honestly, we usually agree with your logic, and make changes accordingly.
Though we don't tell you often enough, we are proud as punch for the maturity you show in times like these. You make it nearly impossible to tell you no, kid.
And you leave me wondering what I ever did to deserve you.
Right now, you are obsessed with all things basketball. Almost every item on your birthday wish list was basketball related. You have a routine after school each day, and you follow it rain or shine. After guzzling a large glass of milk, you head out to the back yard and shoot some hoops. I think it helps you to clear your head and unwind before the chore of homework begins.
What brings a smile to my face is that most days I look out the window and see you with your brother or sister, offering pointers, and cheering them on from the sidelines, rather than shooing them away to focus on yourself.
It's not the game that matters. It's the people who play alongside you that count. A lesson, sweet boy, that we are all learning from you.
Mack, your heart is pure gold.
As you grow into a man, which I know is bound to happen whether I like it or not, I hope you will take this knowledge and lock it deep inside your heart: There is not a day goes by that I don't thank god for sending me you. You are truly a noble soul. Your sweetness of spirit is infectious and brings joy to all those around you. You are quick to laugh, especially at yourself, and so easy to love.
You make me smile each and every day.
Thank you for showing me just how fantastically wonderful teenage boys can be.
I love you, my little KcKay. And I always will.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Last week, I registered my baby boy for high school.
It brought a great deal of anxiety to our home. There were tears and panic attacks. Late night worry and lots of stress.
And all of it mine.
It is a marvel to me, this child of mine. Where I am worry and uncertainty, he is all confidence and cool. His junior high experience was (thankfully) nothing like mine. He breezed through halls that are fraught with angst and cruelty, and has come away unscathed.
He has aced all of his honors classes and still finds time to shoot a few hoops with his friends in the back yard. He loves freely and laughs often.
He likes the girls, we are discovering, but not overtly so. He's a fierce competitor, but not a poor sport. He wants to be just like his father and he loves his brother more than anyone else in the world.
Quite frankly, he's got us all wrapped around his not-so-little-anymore pinkie finger.
And, in spite of my protests otherwise, he will turn fourteen in just three days.
The clock is ticking on our time with this one. Here's hoping it slows down long enough for me to enjoy it.