Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Christopher!

Wow!  18 years.  Has it really been that long?  I remember as a child thinking that was the dumbest question.  I just didn't understand.  I also remember when Christopher was small (2ish) meeting a mom with a "really old" child who was the ripe old age of 7.  Perspective changes things, doesn't it?  I've learned so much in the last 18 years.  I never knew that being a Mom was all that I really wanted to be when I grew up.  I didn't know the rewards, blessings, challenges and heartaches that would come with having children.  Even for the difficult times though, I wouldn't trade it for anything!

My entry into motherhood was a sweet one.  Christopher was a mild-tempered baby - and this trait hasn't really changed.  I loved spending hours holding him as a baby.  I remember planning group activities and field trips with him (and friends) when he was two.  I guess there are a number of things that haven't changed.  I remember too making my first scrapbook of our times together when he was 2.  I wanted him to remember how much fun we had when he was little.

I have loved watching him become a big brother.  He has always loved holding his baby brothers and sisters.  I still love watching him play with them and have fun with them.  Nothing warms a mama's heart like hearing your children laugh together.

Homeschooling has been a great opportunity and blessing.  Christopher has been a great one on which to learn how to do things as he is bright and motivated and easy to teach (most days).  I have loved seeing his interests in various topics grow and develop.  From learning about the Civil War to finance to running, he takes on a subject and really dives into it.  I'm sure he will do a great job in college.  (Christopher - I want to encourage you to work hard and apply yourself from the beginning.  It will be a challenge and I know you are up to it!)

I have loved watching him set goals and achieve them.  Watching him run - and complete - the Grandfather Mountain Marathon last year was amazing.  After hearing others tell him that it couldn't be done - he did it!  He was the youngest runner in the contest and he did it!  I was surprised at how overwhelmed with emotion the event was for me.  I'm so proud of you!

We celebrated today in a low-key manner.  I set up balloons outside his door.

We waited for him to come out.  And waited.  And waited.

He didn't want to come out if I was going to take pictures to post on my blog!  LOL  He did finally come out though as we started his day.  Pancakes for breakfast.  ACC tournament.  (No comment on the game.)  Pizza lunch.  Playing some basketball outside.  Barbecue for dinner.  Presents.  "Cake".

We gave him 18  presents this year.  I like this idea and may have to make this a new tradition.  It was a lot of fun.

Rebecca made his cake.  This was one of the few things that he really wanted - a rice krispy cake.  She made it into a vibram ("toe shoe") for him!  Didn't she do a great job?!  It's pretty big too, so plenty to enjoy.  I'll be surprised though if there is any left tomorrow.  LOL

Eliana was sitting close and loved singing Happy Birthday.  She also knows that after the song ends, the candle is blown out.  Well, as soon as the last word left our lips, she leaned over and blew out the candles as quick as that!  Made us all laugh!
It was a fun day and I love having my whole family together.

One last gift was a box of letters from family and friends.  Letters of memories, encouragement and advice.  I'm thankful to the many people that took time to send a letter to him.  I'm praying that this will be something that encourages him now and many times in the future too.

It was a sweet day - and surprisingly not an emotional one for me.  God is good.  He has blessed me in ways I could never have imagined.  When I started on this path 18 years ago, I had no idea of all that lay in store for me.  I couldn't really see the magnitude of what being a mother entails.  The depth of emotion, the many lessons learned, the amazing gift.  Thank you God for blessing me with Christopher.

Thank you Christopher for 18 wonderful years.  I love being your mom.  No matter where you go, or what you do, I will always love you and will be here for you.  I will keep you in my thoughts, prayers and heart.

I love you so very much!