It’s almost impossible to believe that this young man celebrated his fourteenth birthday today. I describe him at fourteen much as I did at four. 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. 

Middle school was a proverbial line in the sand for me as far as sharing the ins and outs of his life on the internet. He continues to love school and bring home perfect grades. Outside of school he loves history and in school his favorites are math, science, Spanish and orchestra. He has moaned and groaned about his math placement since the summer before sixth grade and decided, on his own, to take freshman algebra online at night concurrently with his regular eighth grade math to get where he wants to be. He plans to continue orchestra his freshman year and can’t wait to keep moving ahead in Spanish. He made both the senior select lacrosse team and a metro Atlanta elite travel team and works every day on and off the field to better himself. He loves his youth group and is in the first year of confirmation preparation. He plays video games all.the.time and has recently started to develop a little social life.

Don’t be disillusioned, parenting a teenager has had its moments. It’s frustrating, inspiring, maddening, joyful, challenging, easy, rewarding and so on and so forth. It is surreal to reach the point in parenting a child where you vividly remember being that age.

I pray that John remains 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, and that those in his circle are the same.  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 always sees the glass as half full.  And, I pray that he knows we are fighting for  him, not against him, with every breath in every moment of every single day.

I’ve said many, many times that John saved me from myself when I lost his brother. I hope he knows that Whit is the greatest gift I’ve ever been able to give him. I know from my own Sister that a sibling’s love can stand the test of time, challenge, heartbreak, loss, sickness, confusion and despair.  Sure, they fight and sometimes they just plain ignore each other. But sometimes they are as thick of thieves and it is in those moments that I fall to my knees in thankfulness.

He loves cinnamon rolls so much that I made monkey bread for the first time in ages for his birthday breakfast. I honestly think it had been at least 10 years. He loved it! Later we celebrated at the Japanese restaurant and then with his favorite chocolate cassis cake for dessert. Sweet and simple.

Happy birthday angel. I am so proud of you, and love you to the moon and back.

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4 thoughts on “Fourteen

  1. Amanda,

    That was such a sweet post. He will look back and treasure those words. They grow up so fast, don’t they? I look back and it seems like mine were just little yesterday, and now my grands are grown!

  2. Happy birthday John! I can’t believe his is 14. I started reading your blog about this time of year when your boys were very little. I remember because you posted about them having a Christmas movie day and they were on their cute PotteryBarn sleeping bags in your living room. I was hooked! I love all the things you pray for John. Having my own son, who is 8, I pray all those things as well. I’m glad you posted about your sweet teenager. It’s neat to see how hard working and awesome he is! My, how time flies!

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