It’s hard to believe, but it’s true… John turned fifteen years old today! I am so proud of the young man he has become, and for the supreme blessing of being his mom. He’s driven, hard-working, kind, a leader, easy to befriend and has a pretty fantastic sense of humor emerging.  I often glimpse him walking into a room and he takes my breath away. How did my precious little boy rush so quickly through the kid years to become *almost* a man?!

As you likely know, I stopped sharing daily ins and outs of his life between fifth and sixth grades. I figure his story is (mostly) his to tell. Every now and then, like on his birthday, I take the liberty of bragging about him.

He is now attending face to face high school and is almost like a new kid! He loves it and, as the first semester wraps up, is very close to bringing home straight A’s! He’s worked crazy hard for it and it really has not been easy. He continued with the cello (year four!) and the thing I miss most about virtual school is not hearing him practice at home every afternoon. On the sports front, he tried out for the same metro Atlanta elite travel lacrosse team again this year and is pleased to play for Thunder 2024 once again. He is conditioning with the high school lacrosse team and looks forward to tryouts in January. His incredible group of friends “trained” him all summer and, to our complete shock, he tried out for and MADE the freshman basketball team at his high school!! Basketball has never been a primary sport for him, and he’s never played anything more serious than a winter rec team. In his first game last week he was recognized as player of the game!!! We credit his core group of friends for giving him the training, support and confidence to go out and give it his all. Speaking of those guys, is there anything greater than seeing your teenager make good friends (with same family values) you know they’ll have forever?! John is extremely active with our church youth group and is preparing for his first communion. He tries for his learner’s permit on Saturday so keep your fingers crossed that goes well. He has not been as committed to studying for that as he is to sports and school. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t note the hours and hours he logs on the xbox every day. That has not changed.

He sounds like the model child from this recap, but remember I am his mother and this is his birthday. :-) 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.

As we look towards tomorrow and the years to come, 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 every now and again, I find them together, as thick of thieves, and it is in those moments that I fall to my knees in thankfulness.

With his fifteenth falling on Thanksgiving we had a FULL day of food and festivities. Breakfast kicked off on the porch with the birthday boy’s request… blueberry and chocolate chip muffins. No matter how old they get, I will still bring out the elf, Scout, in his birthday clothes.

We were able to pull off a huge surprise by securing the new xbox for his big day! Honey had a coworker with an extra that sold it to us at cost. He was absolutely thrilled!

We celebrated a modified Thanksgiving and birthday with Honey’s family and it was SO nice to see these faces! (Details on that meal soon!)

John’s usual birthday dinner request is hibachi. Well, we are creating that meal home and plan to enjoy a night of DIY Japanese, ping pong, football games and hot tubbing with Sister’s family! I made his favorite chocolate cassis cake for dessert. (Details on our hibachi coming soon too! I have got to get off this computer!)

We face timed with Mother and Daddy-O multiple times today to keep them as much a part of the celebration as we could. It certainly isn’t the same, but I’m feeling pretty thankful for technology today too.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY precious son!

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