Happy Birthday Josh. 19 years you’ve been in our lives. 19 years of selective hearing, to the point we thought you were deaf until you were 2. 19 years of astonishing us with your thought process which has always been beyond your years. 19 years of giving us another reason to go to our knees. 19 years of cracking us up with your one-liners, of breaking our hearts with your tenderness. Every year has been better than the year before. Mothers have a way of holding memories dear to their hearts. Little things. Like walking past your room and seeing you squatting “homeschool style” in front of a canvas working on the latest painting when you have a perfectly good easel to work more comfortably, listening to you belt out songs while you play your guitar. Seeing you read more books in one year than I thought you’d ever read in your lifetime. And hearing your opinion on each. And now, what? You want to move out?? Are you crazy? You can’t possibly be ready! Dad and I haven’t taught you everything! There’s a zillion things we have forgotten. In this age of technology there must be a re-wind button, some way to go back and fill in the blanks, to revisit a conversation and say it better, to replay an action and do it right while you’re watching. Can’t I go back and be more patient? Can’t I “do over” and not raise my voice? We need a second chance to go over finances, character, integrity, keeping your room clean. But now I learn I have only one week. One week to get it all right.
Remember to brush your teeth, don’t worry about making your bed. Give 10% to God, put 10% in savings. Always thank the cashier, and leave a good tip. Change the oil in your car. And clean it out once in a while. Take a girl out on a date once in a while, but don’t kiss her. Meet your new neighbors and wave at them whenever you see them. Get to work a few minutes early. Work hard. Play harder. Laugh a lot. If you run out of money sell something. Paint pictures, play your guitar, read books. Sing. Out loud and often. Call your mother. Come home for dinner once in a while. Go to church. Read your bible. Don’t eat all your meals at Red Robin. Drive carefully. Get some exercise. Call your Dad and tell him you love him.
I know there’s more. I know there’s so much you need to learn. I know you have some really rough times ahead of you…But I also know who you are. And I have a feeling you are going to do fine. I miss you already.
Happy birthday Joshua.