Today is your 11th birthday, Stephen. You'll get presents and a special night out at Cheesecake Factory but do you know what this means for me? I have a middle-schooler. Can you pinch me and tell me this is a joke? Where did my chunky little blonde-haired boy with the soccer-cut go? How is it at age 11 you can fit into my socks and shoes?
Everyone says it. Everyone does. But that's because it hits you like a ton of bricks on a morning like this: Time goes by so fast!
Since you are eleven, I decided to list 11 things that I absolutely love about you.
Here is my TOP 11:
1. I love that you love to read. When I see you nestled comfortably on a chair, with a big book in your lap, I get excited.
2. I love how you are often the first one to hug me when I am crying or when I am simply sad, without any tears at all. Showing compassion is something I have seen you grow in!
3. I love how you help Abbie with things - how you hold the doors for her - how you comfort her when she is upset - and how you talk and giggle with her when you are supposed to be in bed, sleeping.
4. I love your creative mind and how you can build/create all sorts of things out of a simple shoe box.
5. I love how generous you are. You rarely go to a store to pick out something for yourself without also buying me, Daddy and Abbie a little something too.
6. I love your olive green eyes.
7. I love how you have an eye for detail and a near perfect memory regarding directions. Even when you were just a few years old, you could tell me the way to Mimi and Pop-Pop's house. When we drive through the night to Myrtle Beach, you are up with a light and map to follow our route on 95.
8. I love how you love your grandparents. Your eyes light up when you know you are going to spend time with them.
9. I love how you can figure out how to do just about anything on the iMac. And I do mean anything.
10. I love how thankful you are. You don't just say "thank you" once or twice....you shower us with thanks - even for the little things.
11. I love how you want to use your gifts to serve the Lord and His church.
Happy Birthday, Stephen! I love you all the way to the third heavens and back again!
Through happy tears, I thank God for giving me YOU as a son.