Another birthday

I'm sneaking into this space today to write.

We celebrated Isaac yesterday.  He is 16.  I cannot even begin to tell you how strange this is.  SIXTEEN?!  Where do the years go?

Isaac was my cuddly, sweet, little chubby-cheeked boy.  I used to call him my "budders".  He would climb up into my lap or beside me and chat with me.  He used to wear this old denim jacket and a red cowboy hat and cowboy boots, wherever we went, like it was his uniform.  He used to sit in the living room and build something (a puzzle or Legos or blocks), and sing at the top of his lungs.  He laughed a lot.  He was always imagining something.

Now he stands several inches taller than me.  He stands beside me and I look up to him.  He reminds me so much of Mark.  He has the same kindness, the same thoughtfulness, the same sensitivity.  He is gentle in spirit.  He's also hard on himself.  He is hesitant to try things unless he knows he'll succeed at them.

I see traces of that little-boy-Isaac in him still-- he likes to talk--- but especially when it's just one-on-one.  He still has an incredible imagination.  He pours it into a story he's writing- just one- that he's been working on for years, complete with maps and timelines and character sketches and drawings.  He draws well.  He has a great sense of humor.  He is so smart.  He likes to listen to political podcasts.  He still builds Lego creations.  He loves to listen to music.  He is kind.  He feels and thinks deeply.  He is compassionate toward others. 

I love him so much.  He is truly one of my favorite people.  We try to hang out together, just the two of us-- heading for coffee and the park or a walk-- every week or so, and I love hearing him talk about the things he's interested in; about the things he's reading and listening to, about the things that affect him.  He is my friend.  I know him so well, and yet I'm still studying him and learning who he is, too.

This is what I think every single day: it is a worthwhile investment to invest in your children.  I have loved these years of parenting.  I always wanted to be a wife and mommy and it is a wonderful, fulfilling job.  I am so grateful for the years I have spent here, in our home, caring for our children.  They grow up to be pretty amazing people.

Happy Birthday to my budders. 

(Photo taken yesterday, on his birthday.  We'd just finished playing a game of Settlers and they were sitting beside me.)