Darling boy, today you are a teenager.
This morning I was up with the moon looking through old footage.
It was very Clark Griswold in the attic.
I constantly marvel at who you are, where you came from and how lucky I am to get to fit into your story.
Thirteen years ago, you came too early. But took your time.
Your insides weren’t ready to leave me, so they took you away.
I waited for days upon days before I could hold you and feel you again. Days upon days to kiss you, feed you.
Thirteen years ago, I fought my hardest fight while you fought yours – miles away from each other.
We were no longer sharing a home and I have never felt so empty in all of my life.
You are no longer little, no longer dependent upon my grasp, but I feel as though it was yesterday when I could fit you into the nook of my forearm.
I can still hear your first words, your first laugh, watch your first step, and it’s all too hard to believe it was that long ago. And yet, the amount of life we have lived together seems impossible to fit into this small amount of time.
My life started when I got to hold you in my arms.
You gave me the purpose I had always ached for.
And I have gotten to watch you grow into the boy I could only have dreamed of.
The kind of boy this world needs more of –
Kind. Smart. Thoughtful.
Intentionally Tender and Inspiringly Carefree.
That same tiny heart that struggled to do its job thirteen years ago has grown into the biggest and hardest working heart I know.
And I will never, ever let a day go by where you don’t feel my pride for you and my never-ending gratitude for the man you are letting me raise.
I am here for you forever and always. I will fight anything and everything in order to make you feel safe, loved and accepted for precisely who you continue to choose to be.
Anything you want, you got it.
Anything you need, you got it.
Anything at all – you got it, baby.
Yours in head scratches and breakfast cake,
P.S. The fact that you would electively fill blessing bags for families in need with your family makes you the coolest damn teenager I know.
Fourth wall break – To those of you who helped us honor him today, I thank you here. I am grateful.