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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dearest most loved son:
They say an ordinary man learns from his own mistakes while a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
I say you are a wise man. Do not roll your eyes at me. I know these things. I have been with you since before you were born.
I remember the tiny 6-pounder I held after 12 hours and 44 minutes of labor.
I remember not being able to sleep when you slept for fear you would stop breathing.
I loved sitting on the floor, at the end of your crib listening to your imaginary conversations with your angels, your laughter was absolutely adorable.
Those little yellow footie jammies were so snuggly, I just wanted to keep you in my arms forever.
Your first birthday was such a hoot – the chocolate cake was everywhere!
Do you remember watching sports with Uncle Wade, you laughed so hard you fell off the couch?
How about the itchy chicken pox you got with Ricky and Joel, poor Ricky was so miserable and you were so sweet and gentle with him?
When you were 3, your preschool friend was crying because she lost the flower she was going to give her mom, you gave her yours and you picked lots more flowers for me on our walk home.
Do you remember the entertainment you provided in Valley City, Captain Underpants?
I love the image I have of Will holding you close, teaching you how to play a game. Later, you both drew bunny rabbits on the chalk board. You precisely copied what he did and it turned out perfect. You were so content, so proud. Your art continues to astound me.
The ribbons, the trophies, from every sport you participated in, you’re just naturally good at stuff.
10th grade B honor roll, track star – breaking a school record. Wow that was a great year!
I could go on forever about all these wonderful things, 19 years of super memories. The places we’ve been, the things we learned, the sites we saw –some amazing stuff.
In every picture I have of you, there are smiles. ‘Smile’ could have been your middle name; you smile so easily, so sweetly, so contagiously.
You are the reason I changed my life, went to college, became more determined to do right, to be happy.
Can you imagine how great your future is going to be?
These are just glimpses into your character. And generally character does not change. People can change their actions, their choices, and lots of other things. But character is hard to change. I hope you know you were raised to be a strong, independent, honorable, hardworking, loving person. I keep praying that I did right by you. I keep praying that you understand: that somehow you realize how much I love you and how much I want you to be happy and to be able to take care of yourself, I won’t be here forever. Do not let anyone else’s negativity cripple you. You have never bought into stupidity or cynicism before. Do not start now. Learn from the mistakes of others instead of creating your own mistakes and taking the long, miserable path to where you want to be.
My dearest 19 year old son, I don’t know what you are meant to do with your life or what path you need to be on. I don’t know every detail of every challenge you face, every decision you must make, every wish, hope, dream, or nightmare. But here’s a short list of what I do know:
1. You are strong.
2. You are healthy.
3. You can run fast.
4. You are athletic.
5. You are artistic, you can draw – cars, cartoon people, places. You draw in such a way, it looks as if you have no plan and when you’re done it’s amazing.
6. You are good-hearted.
7. You’re a loyal friend.
8. You work hard to accomplish what you want.
9. You love to have fun.
10. You have a great sense of humor.
11. You are almost always smiling.
12. You love to ‘debate’.
13. You like to explore.
14. You like to swim.
15. You like to hang out with your friends.
16. You like to play games – guitar hero, 12 sky, need for speed, strategic war games…
17. You like to cook new things.
18. You like to make people happy.
19. You’re adventurous, courageous.
20. You’re always willing to help others.
21. You have a good personality.
22. You wanted to be everything when “you grow up”.
23. You motivate others.
24. You have high energy – go, go, go.
25. You always have new ideas.
26. You’re intelligent, capable.
27. You have lots of interests.
28. You don’t stay angry long.
29. You’re always optimistic.
30. You think outside the box.
31. You like to be the best at everything.
32. You have compassion for people.
33. As a baby you were ‘easy’, sleeping through the night at 3 weeks, only cried when hungry or needed changing.
34. As a toddler, you were famous for saying, “I do it myself!”
35. You were either a snuggle-bunny or on the go, you never just sat and did nothing. We had to go to the park, or build stuff, or create something, or color, or draw. We didn’t watch much TV, a few shows over the years included Batman, TMNT, Power Rangers – You were always the hero!

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