Thursday, February 11, 2016

To a boy on the cusp

You start your devotional at confirmation by reading a bible verse because your baby brother memorized it.

Then you play your guitar and sing a worship song with such feeling and warmth that I glimpse the future you.

You sled with your brothers and sisters for hours on end, giggling and throwing snowballs and full of silliness.

Then you want to be by yourself and say their games are too boring.

You read Hop on Pop to Asher and laugh at the top of your lungs.

Then you close that book and open Revelations in the Bible or a Harry Potter book.

You think it's weird and wrong that so many parents let their kids play violent video games and use their phone all the time.

Then you tell us you'd like to have your own phone, but know you can't. (You're right, by the way.)
Celebrating his 12th birthday with family
You are boy and young man, all at the same time, and I love both pieces of your unique puzzle so very much and I want to keep them forever. I remember when you got your first haircut and I saw you as baby and toddler. You wore your first fancy church outfit and I saw you as toddler and boy. Now you are suspended between boy and young man and it is beautiful and wonderful and exciting and terrifying.
little baby Isaac at almost 5 months

Bringing me such joy
You are twelve today. Your last year before you become a teenager. So many things will change, probably sooner than later, definitely sooner than I'd prefer. The world beyond our four walls will matter more. It will become louder. Please know that I will want to cover your eyes and plug your ears and lock you in a deep and dark basement so I can keep you forever. More importantly, please know that I won't because the world needs you. The world needs the special gifts that are yours alone, the mix of serious and focused and energetic and silly. The boy who loves sports, sports stats, stinky cheese, all the strangest food combinations, Broadway musicals, rap, and history. The world needs your big, beautiful, but sometimes shy smile, your understanding of right and wrong, your caring, your laughter, your sarcasm, your intelligence, your curiosity, your love. The best gifts are made to be shared, and you, my son, are a gift beyond measure. And most importantly, please know that on your journeys of this big, beautiful, terrifying world, you always have a home, a safe place to land, a place where laughter, hugs, and card games await, a place where we know the best and worst of you and love you all the more for the thousands of moments we have shared.

I remember when you turned five. I tucked you in and sang your lullabies and cried because I thought things would be so different the next day. But they weren't. Not right away. For all the millions of ways that things have changed since I first held beautiful, wonderful, perfect for me, you on February 11, 2004, so many things have remained the same.
Isaac's 4th birthday party

Isaac and his dinosaur cake

Your smile. My love. Your laughter. My desire to be the best mama for you that I can be. Your curiosity. My awe.

Our toothless wonder turns 6

Birthday fun at the Mall of America

A winter walk in our MN neighborhood

We've grown a lot these twelve years, Isaac. They placed you on my chest and I breathed the sigh of a woman who just discovered her place in this world. When I was pushing, I dramatically exclaimed, "I don't know why anyone does this more than once." Then I held you and I looked into your dad's eyes through the happiest of tears and cried, "Now I know." You've taught me more than I knew possible. I've failed and loved and worried and loved some more. I've prayed and cried and laughed and hoped and wondered and marveled. I've disappointed you before and I will disappoint you again, but I hope that when you look back at me, at us, at our complex and ever-evolving relationship, you will remember love. Love that you received and love that you gave, because both have meant the world to me.
Sledding together for Isaac's 9th birthday

Isaac's 12th birthday wish came true when his second favorite team won the Super Bowl.
We surprised them with a trip to the celebration parade.
Thank you for being you and for sharing your best and worst with me every day. I thank God daily for the grand honor of being your mama.
Isaac in a nutshell. Emotions on his sleeve and a MN sports fan at heart

Birthday fun at the arcade

Bowling with family and friends
Happy 12th Birthday, Isaac. I love you, million times two.

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