14 Birthdays

Anyone feel like you’re living in the movie The Day After Tomorrow?

Last night my brother sent me a picture of his car.  It had ice hanging off his rear-view mirror.  No big deal, except he lives in Florida.  This morning I looked through pictures of my nephew playing in the snow with his dinosaurs, in Georgia.  It’s crazy I tell ya.

I think we should blame it on El Niño.

That seemed to be the cause of every weather event throughout my childhood.

If it rained, El Niño.  Snow?  El Niño.  Ice was definitely El Niño baby.  Eggs burned?  El Niño.  Car broke down?  That blasted El Niño.  An extra five pounds?  For goodness sake, would you stop already El Niño!

Those were trying days, but we all seemed to weather the El Niño storm and live to tell about it.  I suspect this winter will live far past its’ spring expiration date, if in legend alone.

January has been weird in more ways than the weather, hasn’t it?  Or, maybe it’s just me.

I’m antsy.

I’m not depressed or particularly glum.  I haven’t given up hope of living to see another seventy-degree day, but I’m a bit restless.  I’m not even fully immersed in blogging and that’s a shocker.  Last January I posted every single day of the month.  I was so verbose.

I even posted pictures.

Now, I’m merely a shadow of my usually wordy self.

And, I have a shadow.  Her name is Charlotte and she’s furry.  She’s also pretty high-maintenance.  Sometimes I think this rabbit wants to be a dog.

Pet Rabbit

This morning she’s been following me around and tugging on my pant’s leg every time I sit down.  She wants to be picked up and petted, for like hours at a time.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a two-hour massage too, but she gets more pampering than I get!  I’m a little jealous of the rabbit.  Nobody sits and massages my head.

It’s my son’s bunny, but somehow all of his pets become mine, except for that ugly lizard he had a few summers ago.  I refuse to be a nanny to reptiles.  A woman has to draw the line somewhere.

14 Birthdays

Today I baked cake number fourteen for my son, chocolate with peanut butter frosting, because I know someone was wondering.  I always want to know what kind of cake it is people are baking.  Call it curiosity or call it a sweet tooth.  Whatever.

I’m just kind of in shock.  My son is F-O-U-R-T-E-E-N.

Do you hear the awe in my words?

In another four years he’ll be preparing for college.  That blows my mind, because I don’t feel like it was all that long ago when I was getting ready for college.  Pictures and gray hair tell another story, but again, whatever.  Can’t believe everything you see.

Last year I wrote about three things for my thirteen year-old.  I read back over that post this morning and got a little choked up.  My desire for him hasn’t changed in the last year.  What I want for him is to be thankful, to be prayerful, and to be free.

Be thankful because your life is a gift given to you by the creator of this universe.  You were loved long before you were named.  Each day you live is a blessing, for you and for those around you.  You make a difference by being in this world.  There is a plan and a purpose for your life that is so big, one day you’ll look back on it in awe and thanksgiving.  Be thankful for the good and the bad, because all those little things are what refine you, making you into the man God can work in and through.  Every moment is a time for thanksgiving.

Be prayerful, because every day you wake up, choices abound.  You won’t always make the right choice.  That’s part of life, of living and growing.  It will allow you to know sweet forgiveness and grace abounding.  Be in a state of prayer that is not just for you, but remember those around you.  They need your prayers as much as they need you.  Prayer isn’t empty or ritualistic; prayer is your lifeline, communication with your creator and savior. Prayer really does change things.

Be free son.  Jesus came to give you life and give it to you abundantly.  Don’t be tangled up in other people’s thoughts or desires for you.  Live each day free – free to follow God and chase your dreams – free to learn and make mistakes – free to love and to be loved.  Guard your freedom, because without it, life is small and shallow.

Tonight, when I’m lighting the candles on his cake, my heart will be full.  I am blessed.

14 Years - My Son and Myself

I Love…

  1. your sensitivity.
  2. your hugs.
  3. your care for others.
  4. your rule following ways that bring order to a chaotic world.
  5. your drawings and the talent that seems to grow each day.
  6. your help, especially with carrying the wood.
  7. your strength.
  8. your thankfulness.
  9. your tenacity (although I don’t always love it in the moment).
  10. your love for and protection of your sister.
  11. your deep thoughts.
  12. your pursuit of knowledge.
  13. your love for your family.
  14. your willingness to forgive (especially when I screw up).

I am proud to be called your mom.  I love you and happy birthday Mr. Fourteen Year-Old.

Signature 2014



  1. says

    Oh goodness! That choked me up! Happy Birthday to your young man! And, you know what? Our words go through el nino’ seasons too, I’m convinced.

  2. Mom says

    I love his hugs and when he says “I love you grandma” and “thank you” for anything you do for him no matter how small it is. Very proud of my grandson.

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