March 29, 2007
A Birthday Letter
Dear J ~
Sometimes it surprises me when I turn and see you standing there, now taller than me…with a hint of the man you will become in your face, yet always in my mind’s eye I see the little boy you used to be.
Fourteen years ago, I went into the hospital with no idea how the event of your birth would change me. After I labored to bring you into the world, the doctor laid you across my belly, and I touched your cheek and knew a love stronger than anything I had ever felt before. I fell in love with your big brown eyes and the deep dimple in your chin that looked like someone had sewn a string to the middle of your chin and pulled it toward the back of your head. You were the cutest baby I had ever seen (of course) and you are still cute, and you know it! Although I wish you weren’t quite so cute…you charm your way out of trouble sometimes and that scares me a little.
You have always been someone with extra personality and charm. I remember when you used to sit in the shopping cart I pushed, saying “Hiiiii!” to all the people we’d pass, young or old ~ you didn’t care. You loved them all. You’d sit in your high chair at a restaurant, and we’d see you staring, then all of a sudden you’d grin that big lopsided grin, and you’d say hi to someone across the way while wiggling your little eyebrows up and down at them and nodding your head once at them like they were the best thing you’d seen all day.
You are the favorite of all of your cousins. They can’t wait to play with you and be near you, because you make it fun to be around you and you play with them even though they are many years younger than you. If you are a dad someday, you will be so much fun, because you love to play and be active and do things with others. You have such a great sense of humor (which will come in handy as you deal with their teen years)...
You are someone who does well at anything that you try. I love watching you play sports, sing solos, ride your bike, play catch with your sister, and run down the street with our dog. Soccer travels will begin in a few weeks and I am so glad you play and give us a reason to be together as a family while we travel across Montana and beyond. You are a great goalie, and I am always impressed by your poise and coolheaded calm when things are intense during games. You told me you’d love to be a professional goalie someday. To this I say: GO FOR IT. Always chase your dreams, because you won’t want to look back on your life with regret that you never reached for your dreams. I have total faith in you, and I’ll support you all the way.
More important than your talents, though, I love when I see evidence of your kindness and your strength of character. I want you to be a man of conviction and honor, someone who’s unafraid to stand up for what you know is right. I appreciate your honesty, your humor, and your intelligence. You are such a great kid! It has been such a joy watching you grow up, and I can’t wait for high school and beyond. I’m so damn proud to call you my son.
I love you.