My dearest Stephen,
Have you noticed that lots of great things come in 12's? Eggs come by the dozen. Twelve inches makes a whole foot! There were twelve tribes in Israel, and twelve disciples, so the number twelve was important to God too! This year marked a dozen years I've had with you. Wow! As always, money was tight this time of year--it always is with the end of the school year and beginning to prepare for the next year. Of course, a major difference this year was that we didn't go to the homeschool conference on Memorial Day weekend, so we were home to celebrate your birthday. Only . . . I didn't have any money. It was hard to watch you so excited, when I knew I wouldn't be able to do anything until the day OF your birthday. I couldn't prepare ahead . . . no presents, no cake, no decorations. Even the planning lacked a little as I have struggled to get through the end of the school year, complicated even more by all the events in your brother's year at the Academy. So there I sat on Friday morning after dropping your brother at school. I was trying to figure out how to redeem the day and make you feel as celebrated as my heart feels when I think of how much I love being your mom and having you as my son.
Then it came to me! The idea I proposed to you was quickly negotiated and embraced, and you told me all day long how much you loved it! We went on a shopping spree. I could laugh when I even call it that, since you wanted so little. The first thing we got was a big gift bag to fill up, only there were so few things you wanted, we could have done with a much smaller bag. First we hit Starbuck's and the grocery store to get coffee and donuts, then we went to several stores to find the things you wanted. We headed home for a little while for lunch and so AJ could have his tutoring done. Then we picked Josh up from school and wisked away to watch "Night at the Museum 2." Afterward we went to Cici's for pizza, then home to enjoy playing with your new games and shows. It was a simple day, but you genuinely loved it, which says volumes about who you are. You love simplicity . . . love being home and with family or alone.
The day after your birthday I took you out just the two of us, to a movie ("Wolverine") and to dinner. The day after that we celebrated with a big family party with us and the Borkos, just lots of noise and activity and fun! Matthias spent the night, and then you were completely satisfied with your special day(s). It is easy to see in this what I have long known about you--you are content to have a few very close relationships, and don't really need many of them. You like the "social scene" and have enjoyed the activity and excitement of being with the youth at church, but your preference is to just enjoy the people you love being around.
You've grown so much this year, in size (you now top the scale at over a hundred pounds!) and in skills. Your art work has come such a long way, and you love to spend hours drawing cartoons. You love all things boy! You giggle at explosions (go figure!), and love action movies more than anything. But you are quite the ham, and LOVE LOVE comedy of all sorts--from sitcoms to Garfield cartoons to blonde jokes. You are always cracking me up with some hilarious observation and comment, or with a new cartoon that reflects your ability to get inside the heads of those who draw your favorite comics.
Stephen, I love being your mom so much. You are so full of surprises. You are sensitive, and when I get down, you look for some way to help or encourage, even if it's just in holding my hand. In spite of your insistence, I dread the day that some cute girl takes away my snuggle bug, and I love all the affection you give me still. But I also love the ways you are changing--new conversations we get to have, new kinds of movies we can watch, and lots of new humor.
Happy birthday my dear boy! You are a delight and a joy!