My dearest Scorch-
Happy 17th birthday, my sweet boy. I say this every year and I think I always will- I have no idea how you got to be this old. You were the VERY best Mother’s Day gift ever the day you were born. You were smushed and wrinkled and adorable, comfortably fitting in one arm- and now you tower over me. You drive. You’re looking at colleges. You are almost (but not quite) grown up. And that thrills me and makes me want to cry in equal measures.
You are the very best of your father and I – all brash confidence and kindness with a killer sense of humor. You’re dedicated and hard working (on things you want to work hard at) and passionate and simply amazing. I marvel at you daily wondering how we managed to make such an astounding person – I truly don’t know how we got so lucky.
16 was a *year,* wasn’t it? It wasn’t always easy – I think we fought more this year than we ever have. Teaching you to drive was a total nightmare for the both of us- I was a freaking terrible teacher and you weren’t exactly the best student. But we got through it with only a couple blown stop signs and one fender bender. There were a lot of growing pains as you continue to work toward becoming the man you’re growing to be- even though we have to continue to remind you that you weren’t quite as grown up as you think you were. But this year was also a lot of fun…
You got your first job. You were one of the captains of the football team. You’re in the middle of your first varsity baseball season. You decided to play football (FOOTBALLLLLLLL) in college. We’ve road tripped to at least 7 colleges trying to figure out where you’ll call home in a year and some change. You get up at 4 am most days to work out because you have more energy than a coked-up puppy. We’ve worked hard to learn how to manage all that energy so it can be focused where it needs to be. You’ve excelled in all your AP classes while continuing to make math your sworn enemy. You convinced us to get a kitten that was DYING and we (I) had to nurse back to health.
You know that I’m not the most sentimental mom. This yearly blog posts are usually about as mushy as I get, but kiddo- this year, prepare yourself. 17 seems HUGE and 17 is going to have some of your last firsts and I’m most likely going to be a basketcase the majority of the time. I’m going to try to pull you closer as you’re trying to pull away. And that’s normal and to be expected- but have patience with me, ok? Let me hug you a little bit more, for a little bit longer. Smile at all the pictures for me and don’t roll your eyes too loudly when I ask for a selfie. Because, kiddo? This is it. Next birthday will be your 18th and you’ll have made a college decision and whoooboy- that’s all A. LOT.
As always, I have a ton of hopes for your this year:
– I hope you enjoy the hell out of this next year. I hope you take part in everything you can, make alllllll the memories and leave high school next year knowing that you wrung out every possible experience from your time here.
– I hope you continue to keep your friend groups- you have a few of them and that’s awesome. You have the kiddos you grew up with, whose parents helped to raise you. You have the friends you picked yourself through sports. You have your baseball friend flung all over the state. Hold on to those connections, kiddos- friends are essential to a well lived life.
– I hope you keep making your sister be your friend. Tackle her. Tickle her. Let her beat you up- keep cultivating that relationship because she’s your best friend for life. You both will be celebrating every holiday and milestone together forever- so be good to each other.
– I hope you listen to me and your dad, and know that we’ll always be in your corner. We want the best for you, no matter what that looks like and we’ll always support you. End of story.
– I hope that you know that you’re never stuck. Pick a college and hate it? You can transfer. Pick a major and detest it? You can find a new one. It’s SUPER easy at this age to feel like all your choices are Big Ones that are set in stone- but that’s bullshit. Life is yours to make of what you want, and sometimes that involves detours. They may seem like huge roadblocks at the time, but there is literally nothing in your life you can’t change if that’s what you want.
– I hope you know that there is no mistake that can’t be fixed. It may be ugly and hard and miserable- but if you screw up, own it, make amends and move forward. Don’t ever mistake something temporary for something permanent.
– I hope you never lose your drive to work hard. Put in the effort. Focus on your goal and go get it. There is nothing you can’t do if you want it badly enough.
– I hope you always, always remain kind. Never punch down, always lend a helping hand, and give people (yourself included) grace. Using your manners and being kind will serve you better than just about anything else in life.
– I hope you don’t limit yourself. Dream big kiddo- figure out what brings you joy and pursue that without fail. Life is yours for the taking.
Remember that you are worth *everything* – don’t compromise all the amazing things that make you you to make yourself fit anywhere. You are worthy of love and joy and acceptance exactly as you are.
So, kiddo- get after it and know that we’ll be here cheering you on! Have the very best birthday – I cannot wait to see where this year takes us!
All my love,