Happy 15th Birthday Bou – 15 Things I want you to know

Bou, you are 15 years old today.  I will try hard to not make this to sappy.   I know you got your rep and all.  But this is a big year!  You have a few more “big” birthdays left, but this one means a lot to me.  Probably because I was your age when I met and started dating your dad.  And we all know I am just a sap like that.  
We all have grown and changed so much this year – it’s been amazing to watch you grow – in size, in Faith, in character.  Folks aren’t kidding when they say boys sprout quickly!  We are building a house, and you have been such a huge part of it!  You will totally be ready to build your own Tumbleweed soon!  
So before I get to sappy in the intro, these are 15 Things I want you to know.

  1. You are our first born.  The first human being in this world to hear my heartbeat from the inside.  The first one to give us the glorious names of Mama and Dad.  There’s something pretty special about that
  2. You will always be my baby.  Even when I have to stand on tip toe to kiss your cheek (and I will).  Even when my arms won’t fit easily around your broad shoulders (and I’ll try).  I will always see you as the
    completely dependent newborn,
    the playful toddler,
    the curious preschooler.  I just will.
  3.  In many cultures you would be considered a man – with all the perks and responsibilities.  The Jewish culture is 13, others is 16.  But in America, we don’t grant you that legal term until 18.  You could look at the next 3 years as practice years, to try and figure things out.
  4. We expect good things from you.  Not to put unrealistic demands on you but because we know you are capable and worthy.
  5.  Your word is your name.  Your name is your legacy.  Make it a good one.  When you say something, make sure you mean it.  When you promise, follow through.  We live in a small world as you know, people will remember.
  6. We are learning this together.  I remember vividly transitioning from child to adult.   I remember the internal and external struggles.  But we have never parented this stage before.  You will mess up.  We will mess up.  We will apologize to each other and we will learn – together.
  7. You will fall in love.  I hope not often.  The feelings are intense and real and sometimes, all consuming.  Be gentle with your heart.  Be gentle with theirs.
  8. Don’t take what isn’t yours to take.  This applies to many life instances.  It’s just a good thing to remember.
  9. Keep your wit and humor.  You get it from your dad.  They will serve you well in life.  From defusing heated situations to making bad moments just a little better.  Laughter makes life better.
  10.  Never be afraid to talk to us.  We have likely been there, done that, heard it, felt it or seen it.  If we haven’t, we will help you find a good person to offer insight.
  11. Always be a gentleman.  Open doors, offer your seat, help when you see a need, even before it’s asked.  It’s just the right thing to do.  Chivalry is not dead.
  12. You will not always listen to the wise advice of those around you.  Just like we did, you will choose to learn some lessons the hard way.  We will try to guide you towards the less painful or more rewarding route, but ultimately, we know you will not always follow that path.
  13. We will be there for you.  Not always to pick you back up, not always to fix it, but to be with you through it so you are not alone in it.
  14. See the majestic in everyday things, often.  Sit on the beach, listen to the waves.  Watch the sunrise and sunset.  Lie out and look at the stars.  Watch the clouds go by.  It centers you, it clears your head, connects you to things larger than you.  Somehow, the challenges you are facing are put into perspective.
  15.  The Lord is always there for you.  I can’t stress this enough.  He is your confidant, you provider, your source of strength and hope.  Listen for Him.  He doesn’t always speak in the loud thunder; usually it’s in the gentle breeze.  Listen for it.  Keep Him your focus, strive to be a Man of God, you will not go wrong.

Happy 15th Birthday Bou!  We love you so much!
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