It's how many gazillion times I've wished you'd stop growing up so fast. It's how many thousands of times I've marveled over how incredibly smart, and funny, and compassionate, and caring you are. It's how many hundreds of times I've prayed for your well-being. It's how many dozens of times I've had conversations with you about the perils of "teenage" years. It's the countless number of times I've hoped that your heart will remain in tact, that you find everything you're looking for, and that you find you way to true happiness.
And, it's how old you are today.
I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but you turn 13 today. It seems like last week sometime when you were first presented to me… a beautiful, pink, warm, wet, wide-eyed baby boy… as seemingly eager to meet me as I you. And, as quickly as you entered into this world, you have now become a teenager.
You're about to enter the beginning of your "growing up" years. You're incredibly (and rightfully) excited about this prospect. I'm terrified. Mostly because I've been a teenager, and I know how fragile you can be during this transitional stage in your life. I hope it goes without being said, but you can always come and talk to either your father or me about anything that's weighing heavily on your heart, anything that's bothering or frustrating you, or for any advice you may need or require.
You're also more than welcome to share all of your joys, accomplishments, and exciting events that are about to unfold for you. I will be very "present" as your world takes shape; as you pass through the doors of your teenage years, and move forward into the realm of manhood. I will watch, in awe, as you enter into, then graduate from high school; select and get accepted into the college of your choice; land that "perfect" job; meet and marry the girl of your dreams; and then present to me your own beautiful, pink, warm, wet, wide-eyed baby boy (or girl!). Synchronicity at its finest.
These major milestones in your life will undoubtedly happen just as quickly as the ones that have already passed for you, and I look forward to being a part of it all. As always, I'll be here to catch you when you fall, and I'll also stand tall and proud, knowing that the man you will become is the child I helped to produce.
Happy 13th birthday, my son. I wish, with all my heart, that you both enjoy and savor this rite of passage. Your life is about to take you on so many new journeys, and I can't wait to come along for the ride.
(This was originally written for my son in September 2007, to commemorate his 13th birthday. I just wanted to post it here, so I could share it with all of you....and show you that I really do love my kids! ;)