To My Son – Because Today You’re 17

Dylan,

I blinked, son.  Somewhere along the line I blinked and the 8 pound 4 ounce baby I brought home from the hospital turned into a taller than me young man.  Motherhood spins on this crazy axis of diapers and feedings, of holding you close when you were a hot mess with fevers.  It revolves around grabbing the bucket when your stomach won’t settle and trips to the hospital for IV fluids when the vomiting is so out of control.  It’s racing to your school, my heart beating hard and furious because the bee found you and you’re so deathly allergic an ambulance had to be called.  The days seem to go by in a blur of activity when motherhood spins through seconds and minutes and days. 

Today my heart is spinning at a much slower revolution.  It’s 7:44 in the morning as I’m typing these words and I’m thinking back to this day 17 years ago and what I was doing to bring you into this world at 8:24 AM.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  Your daddy and aunt waiting up all night with us as my body worked to give me a son.  You were a boy.  My heart was convinced of it before I even saw your face, you were a boy.  Your name was picked out long before your birthday.  Dylan Victor John, the first name your own and the middle names your legacy.  

Son, there are just a few things I want you know on this day that is all yours.  A day to celebrate you and the light and joy that you bring to this family.  There are things that I want to tell you, to make sure that you understand how unbelievably proud I am to be your mother.  And, as any mother would, there is some advice I want to give you as you take your next steps in the shoes of a man. 

You have blessed this family with your easy going nature.  You are quick to help and you don’t even roll your eyes very often when I interrupt your video games with this task or that chore.

I have watched you overcome obstacles and the odds.  The experts said you needed medicine, that school wouldn’t be your thing.  But you persevered, set those goals and even made the principal’s honour roll last year and will no doubt be on it again this year.  There is nothing, nothing a mother loves more than to see her children work hard and accomplish their dreams.  You’re going after yours son, and that has me beaming and bursting with “I’m so proud of you”

You have the gentlest of spirits.  I see you with the littles, the tiny cousins, that are part of our family and you show an infinite patience and care.  You’ve given them every reason to look up to you. 

You have such a heart for Jesus.  A sense of what is right and you are not afraid to follow the hard path. Your convictions run deep.  And when I see you laying in bed at the end of long day with your Bible in hand?  I swallow the tears, because I know that there have been times in your life when I haven’t done enough to show you the goodness of God. And I whisper a thank-you prayer as I know that the grace of the cross has covered what I have left undone in my parenting. 

You fit right into our nerdy family.  I’m glad things like Star Trek, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings capture your imagination.  I love your love of all things retro, from movies to music you have an old soul.

And let me tell you son, that all of those things that I love about you.  The ones that make me smile at the end of each day?  They will be loved by someone else too.  When the time comes and the person is right.   So can your “old” mother whisper some advice to you here.

You are already wonderful you don’t need to change.  Not one single bit.  The pressures will come, believe me they will come, but trust in the foundation that Daddy and I have laid.  We have taught you “to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God” – Micah 6:8.  This should be your measure son, in all that you do.  Let the straight edge of justice, mercy and humility be your guide.

When you meet her, you know who I mean, know that God has created her as an equal.  A man needs an equal to be his better half.  Remember son, she’s there to be your help-mate, as in working alongside not working for.  More is accomplished when two are at the task, and when the storms roll, and they will roll, two standing back to back are far more effective than one going at it alone. (Ecclesiastes 4) 

Start and end each day with the same.  Your gaze focused on the One who created you.  The view is so much clearer when it’s viewed through the lens of Christ.  Remember that you don’t have to face the day under your own steam.  It’s in your weakness that you are made strong, His grace is sufficient son, lean in hard on that. (2 Corinthians 12:8) 

Your dreams, the desires that you carry, they were placed in your heart by your Creator.  Trust Him with your path son, He will not lead you astray (Psalms 37).  He’s got your back, you just need to remember that you serve a good God.  You won’t always have all the answers, or know what’s coming around the next bend but He has mighty plans for you son, and they are meant for your purpose (Jeremiah 29).

 And son, one last thing.

You need to know that my heart is full.  It has been full since the day that they put you, swaddled and warm in my arms.  You could never do anything, say anything, be anything that could ever make me love you less.

I love you my son.  Happy Birthday.


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