Thursday, April 14, 2011


Yep, it's official, we have a 16 year old.

I love it,

and it just keeps getting better.

The poster we all signed for his big day . . . Chris added a little cash.

Our annual birthday outing: shopping and lunch!

Today my thoughts were filled with those sweet moments my son and I have shared over the past 16 years. I tend to get a little sentimental on my children's birthdays as I reflect on their childhood and how they've grown and what they've learned along the way.  For Ryan this past year as been filled with a tremendous amount of growth, in both maturity and wisdom.  I couldn't be more proud of this boy and the direction his life is taking.  Ryan's future is very bright, and today I found myself reminiscing about all of the small and seemingly insignificant building blocks that have formed our mother-son relationship over the years:

Dear Ryan,
Remember when . . .

We would snuggle on the rocking chair reading your favorite books?
Now I watch you hunched over the latest required classic as you carefully annotate each chapter and study for the next English test.

I would drive you to the ice rink, help you put on your gear, and kneel down to tie your skates before practice?
Now you drive yourself to the rink, grab your bag and stick out of the trunk and head off to your practices and games with an absentminded wave and "bye Mom."

You would ask me questions about anything that crossed your mind because you believed I knew all the answers?
Now I watch you carefully considering your options, coming to conclusions on your own, and sharing your new found knowledge and wisdom with me.

We would watch sports together and I could teach you the basics?
Now you fall on the couch, exhausted after school, and tune into "Sportscenter" to catch up on the latest games, stats, and player info . . . you even keep track of you brackets during March Madness.

You would follow the tracks I made with precision on the ski hill so you would know just how to make that perfect turn?
Now I follow you off the beaten track and into the trees for knee deep powder.

All you wanted to listen to was "Wee Sing Dinosaurs," then you, Caroline, and I would sing along together in the car?
Now, I'm dropping you off at various concert venues with your friends so you can watch your favorite artists perform.

You were the slowest kid on the soccer field and once you hollered to me, "I'm running as fast as my yittle yegs can carry me!"
Now you run with grace and speed up and down the lacrosse field, making your mom beam with pride as you play for your high school team.

We made that card for Valentine's day for the little girl you liked in Kindergarten?
Now we're coming up with creative ways to ask a sweet young lady to the Homecoming dance.

I would sing you your favorite songs every night when I tucked you in?
Now, I peek in your room to say goodnight, usually to see you scanning your i-pod looking for that perfect song to lull you to sleep.

I would take you out to lunch, just the two of us, and had to think of topics to keep our conversation going?
Now we can't stop talking we have so much to say to each other . . .

After our lunch at "Himalayan Kitchen" - Ryan's favorite.

Happy Birthday Ryan.  I am grateful for the journey we've had together.  It's been a pleasure raising you these 16 years, despite the bumps in the road at times.  Thank you for not only being my son, but my friend.


1 comment:

Kelly said...

What a great tribute to such a wonderful young man! We love Ryan too. I'm thrilled for you, too, Julie that you'll have a certain someone to relieve you of some of the driving and errands, and give you some more well-deserved Julie time.