Thursday, April 12, 2018

Celebrating a New Teenager (Happy 13th Birthday to Owen)

Dear Owen,

And just like that, you are a teenager. 

Thirteen years ago I cradled a tiny baby in the neonatal intensive care unit of a Jacksonville hospital. Today I wrap my arms around a lanky boy who is just taller than his sisters and soon to be taller than me. I'm so glad that though you have outgrown multiple shoe and pant sizes this past year, you have not outgrown your affectionate ways. I love that you still try to climb on my lap or Daddy's, with long arms and legs and elbows and knees spilling out in every direction!

Just last week after a family outing we'd had together, your Pop-Pop remarked how special you are. "Owen is a natural-born leader," he said. And I agreed. From the time you were little, you have had a spark that draws people to you. God has uniquely created you and I know that He has mighty plans to fulfill in your life as you follow Him. It has been such a joy this year to see you growing and maturing in your faith, especially on Sundays as you take notes during Pastor Greg's sermons and later have thoughtful comments that reveal how closely you have been listening to what he shares from God's Word.

It has also been so rewarding to observe you this year in a new school context. Despite challenges from having had almost all your prior education in Spanish, you have pushed through obstacles and impressed your teachers with the self-motivation you possess. You have made many friends and pursued new opportunities such as band without any prior knowledge or training. You have faced some hard times and heartache from one individual's personal attacks but through this trial developed compassion and concern for others' wellbeing. As any new teenager, you have had high highs and low lows but you have emerged with the humor we all enjoy so much and the energy that motivates us to keep going. Your family loves you dearly!

On the exact day of your birthday, I was saddened to be far away with Daddy in California but thankful for Grandpa Garcia stepping in to make your day special. Your growing boy appetite was more than satisfied at Shady Maple Smorgasbord and it made Grandpa laugh that with all the many options available, a burger was still your first choice! A few days later we celebrated again, this time with cake and ice cream and presents along with both sets of grandparents. And finally, Uncle Dave and Aunt Terri made your day with a much-anticipated movie and popcorn and a sleepover with your cousin Benjamin. Hopefully you will remember all these things and realize how very much you are valued and enjoyed.

Happy 13th Birthday, Owen! May this be a wonderful year of your life, full of blessings and learning. Daddy and I love you so much!

Love always,

Previous birthday posts:

12th Birthday - Owen
11th Birthday - Owen
10th Birthday - Owen
9th Birthday - Owen
8th Birthday - Owen
7th Birthday - Owen
6th Birthday - Owen
5th Birthday - Owen
4th Birthday - Owen
3rd Birthday - Owen
2nd Birthday - Owen

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