It is hard to believe that many of you have been around since John’s first birthday celebration on the blog. I started Dixie Delights right after he turned 5, and number 6 was the first one I shared here.
Well, seven years later and and that cutie is thirteen! In lieu of a birthday dinner at Japanese or fondue last night, he chose to go to his standing youth group meeting. I told him he could have a hall pass on that but they adopted a family and were shopping for the gifts. I think a little part of my heart broke just then – that he didn’t want to be with us – but another part of it swelled with pride that doing something for someone else was how he wanted to spend his 13th birthday. And so, Daddy-O got him Krispy Kreme for a quick breakfast, he was off to school all day, then to church, and we finally got to see him for a few fleeting minutes over take out fried rice (his choice) before he had to do his homework.
It’s funny how kids are born with a personality. I’ll say many of the same things about him now that I did then. He’s driven, hard-working, kind to others, a leader, easy to befriend and a model citizen. He follows the rules and pushes himself so hard that we don’t have to. I know that y’all don’t hear much about him here on the blog, but he’s happy in school, had a perfect report card in the first quarter, made the select lacrosse team again, plays Fortnite with his buddies in every waking moment and still loves being outside.
I know I’ve had a teenager for one solid day, but its been coming for months. I’m not going to lie and say that parenting a teen has been a walk in the park. It’s frustrating, inspiring, maddening, joyful, challenging, easy…. you know, kind of like being an emotional teen again myself while living in the body of a 42 year old mother. haha.
My prayer for John in the years ahead is that he stays rooted and grounded in God’s love, and that he knows that his family loves him unconditionally. I pray that he always sees his self worth, and that he can walk upright in integrity and good conscience with his decisions and choices. I pray that he is courteous and chivalrous, because I know those things aren’t dead. I pray that he is warm, true, trustworthy and respectful in his relationships. I pray that he is hard working, yet generous with his time and resources. I pray that he can be uninhibited in his happiness, know true joy, and that he can always see the glass as half full. And, as we continue to navigate this thing called parenting, I hope that he knows we are fighting for him, not against him, with every breath in every moment of every single day.
More than any thing I’ve ever been able to do for him, I hope he knows that his little brother was the greatest gift of all, and one that can stand the test of time, challenge, heartbreak, loss, sickness, confusion and despair. I pray that he always has his brother by his side.
DIXIE DELIGHTS DELIVERED