Your Aunt Angie knew when she was six that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. I could never pick just one thing I wanted to do, but I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to raise amazing kids who would change the world. I kid you not, I remember writing a paper about that at 17.
I told your dad when we got married I wanted at least four kids. He told me he wasn't having more than two. (God ultimately made us compromise with three.) When we lost our first baby towards the end of the first trimester, I was devastated. I felt like there was this big, gaping hole in the middle of my soul. And then, I remember God comforting me with this: It's going to be okay. You're going to have a son, and things will never be the same.
Shortly after, I found out I was pregnant. And God was right, things were never the same. From the moment you were born, you made this world a better place. You brought joy and peace with your presence. There's always been something special about you. Others see it too, so it's not just mom biased. I can't even begin to say how many pastors have told me "God's hand is on that child."
You're an amazing brother, and a role model to your two younger brothers. You dispel the myth that a teenager has to be disrespectful. Even as you formulate who you are independent of your father and I, you always honor us. There are times I can see you reigning in your temper when we do clash. But you do. You're not perfect, no one is. But you humble me with how diligently you seek to do what's right, with how you humble yourself before God when you do misstep. You've taught me as much as I've taught you over the years.
I've been a little weepy today because it's hitting me that you really have transformed from a boy into a man over this past year. (It doesn't help that you look 26, not 16. Sheesh.) I'm treasuring these moments with you because I know that my time with you is nearing its end. In another year, you'll be finished with high school and I can see how ready you are to start your own life's adventure.
It's a great big world out there, and I know you're going to make it a better one. It's what you were always meant to do. And I was always meant to prepare you for that.
But for now, I'm just going to soak up your presence. I'm going to enjoy that you're still my boy. And today, I'm going to celebrate you. You're one of the greatest miracles God's ever worked in my life.
Happy birthday Dylan Sean.
Rolling hills that had been vibrant green just weeks ago were now muted in tone, as if they were taking a deep breath before bursting into the song of fall.