What we have is strange. And I know it’s mainly me.
Sometimes I look at you and feel such pain. I see you laying in that hospital room. Helpless. Looking around for a familiar face.
Other days I marvel at you. That you’re here. And healthy. And minus that scar up the back of your neck, seemingly unphased.
On school days when you get frustrated at your Math, I get angry. How could someone who’s faced so much crumble at a simple multiplication problem?
When I look back at your baby pictures I feel confusion. Why can’t I remember it? How could one moment wash away so many precious memories?
During those moments when I catch you picking up trash you didn’t drop. Or taking the dogs out without being asked, I feel relief. And thankfulness.
Because we were clueless when you were born. We forced you to fit our routine. We held on too tightly till God forced open our hands.
But through it all, you somehow became you. The person God created you to be. The little boy with strength enough to face hard things.
Son, I have failed you throughout the last 13 years. I’ve ran when I should have hugged. I’ve cried when I should have laughed. And I’m sorry.
But man, what a gift you are to me. What a marvel.
Thank you for being our firstborn. For letting us mess up time and time again. For being gracious. For being patient.
One day you’ll understand how hard we tried. How much we loved you in spite of our mistakes.
Happy 13th birthday Stephen! You are grace to us.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)