Why my oldest son is one of the most amazing people I have ever known

My oldest son is turned 13 today.  Crazy!!  I cannot believe he is now a teenager.  I guess I should have seen this coming but for some reason it is totally shocking!  It feels like yesterday when I was pregnant with him, imagining all that he would become.  Hoping for a wonderful, inspirational life, full of joy, love, and contentment.  Never realizing that in fact those were all the things that he would also be bringing to all our lives as well.

D was a surprise, a scary one, but one of the best things that has ever happened to us.  When your first child is born, you see the whole world sort of ,morphing before your eyes, priorities change and you see everything with a much less selfish perspective.  I suppose everyone owes those changes to their first precious child and D was ours!  Right from the beginning we could tell he was a special kid.  He surprised everyone in the birth room by his sheer size.  At 9lbs 9oz and 24 inches long, he looked like a 3 month old, and that induced an audible gasp in the delivery room when he was finally delivered.  And he stayed on that track up until today.  At 13 years old he is far taller than me, wears a size 11 shoe and is gaining on his dad, who is 6'5",  fast.

Right from the start D was an exceptionally pleasant baby.  Slept through the night right away and never cried, so unusual that I actually called the doctor when he was 4 months and asked if that was normal. I figured he must be ill in some way to never cry.  The doctor pleasantly told me to count my blessings and hung up.  The rest of his baby and toddler years followed the same way.  Talking at 9 months he was precocious, walking at 10 month he was also very physically capable, yet true to the first born stereotype, he was cautious.  It was as though he was born an adult stuck in a little body.  Like he was just waiting to be an adult.  Like he has been here many times before.  "He is an old soul", we were told countless times.

From the time D was 18 months or so he was quite capable of intelligent conversation.  We hiked, visited museums and spent every moment together.   He showed empathy for others not found in most adults.  I was constantly reminded by others of this, from my friends, to his friends parents, to basketball coaches.  He asked after others, gave from his heart, and showed sympathy in situations most children would never even notice.

Not many things have changed about D since that time.  He is still funny, intelligent, and one of the most empathetic people I know.  Most importantly he is still one of my best friends.  He helps without being asked, he calls when I am gone for a little while to check on me, and he guides us all on our paths in life through his spirit.

I've watched him and, truth be told, I do not see very much of myself in him.  Especially when I look at the qualities that I exhibited at the same age.  He is and always has been wise beyond his years.  Cautious when I am being reckless, calm when my anger is getting the best of me, and most of all warm and understanding when all I see is irritation!  He makes me a better person just by being himself!

I guess it is mostly what he creates in me that amazes me so much.  D makes me seek out a better life, makes me want to be a better person, and he humbles me and inspires me every single day!  I have learned so many things from him; how to look at the world with a freshness only a child can display, how to love unconditionally, how to let go of small things, how to forgive, how to celebrate every moment, and how to push through my fears.

He amazes me for:
The decisions he makes,
the way he see people,
the way he treats people,
the person he wants to be, 
and the person he already is.

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  1. Beautiful dedication.

    Upon meeting D in Costa Rica, we knew immediately how travel and being raised in an open home have allowed him to grow far beyond the 'normal' western expectations of his age.

    Happy Birthday D.

  2. Thanks so much. Really feeling like the luckiest parents in the world these days!

  3. Mary, this post is a wonderful birthday gift to him. Great idea. Thanks for sharing the old family pictures.

  4. What a lovely post. Can't wait to meet him and your family soon in Penang! 24 inches long at birth ... wow! I thought my son was huge at 22 inches

  5. Thanks Tracy, we can't wait to meet you guys as well. Let the Mine craft begin:) How much did he weigh?

  6. Happy Birthday! Gosh time sure flys by far too quickly - we also have a 13 year old...and yep he too has big feet!