I think back on your toddler years when we lived in the big city and how when you fell on the ground, I’d pick you up and bandage your cuts.
Often, you’d surprise me from behind and squeeze my stomach so hard I couldn’t breathe. You always needed physical affection, and I was happy to give it.
When you came home exhausted from preschool, we’d eat lunch, lie in your bed, read a book, and before you knew it your eyes were shut for nap time.
I’d read a devotional and your favorite Thomas the train books. We’d play outside for hours at a time and ride bikes to the park.
I’d correct you when you were wrong. I’d do my best to teach you the narrow way.
I’d help you learn what it means to be a good friend and that often, hurting people can hurt people. There’s often more to someone’s story.
Now, you help me when I’m clumsy and hurt myself randomly. You’re getting the ice-pack for me.
Now, it’s weird to hug your mom, so I have to be the one to initiate or extend a hand on your shoulder.
You don’t need us to read you a book or put you to bed anymore, but each night you do say, “Night, Mom. Night Dad.” And those are my favorite words from the day.
We shoot basketball hoops occasionally, but you mostly want to be with your friends, understandably.
You’re quick to tell me if I’m not thinking clearly, being difficult, or picking a fight with Dad when I shouldn’t.
You share about your faith and strive to live it out. You help me set up my Chromebook and are a technology wiz.
You’re befriending the lonely at school. Your kind and bubbly personality have won over your classmates.
You’re helping mow the lawn, take out the trash, carry heavy furniture, and do the laundry.
You never like it when I nag, but you will let me coach and encourage you.
You love the color black in room decor and all those bright LED lights. You don’t walk out the door without AXE Dark Temptation scent on your shirt.
It’s exciting to see who you’re becoming and how you’re putting what I taught you into practice.
You don’t know it, but you’re teaching me every day.
You know exactly what you want and you don’t let anyone change your convictions. I love seeing you making your own decisions and standing in who God made you to be.
We yell sometimes, ride on those emotional highs and lows, and I have to keep parenting you and showing you the way, but I want you to know I appreciate what you’re teaching me along the way.
It’s hard for me at times because I want to control and not let you go. I miss how our relationship used to be in your early years, but I absolutely love who you are today.
I love you son, and I’m so proud of the young man you are.