Friday, April 12, 2019

Happy 14th Birthday to Owen

snuggling with Mom
Dear Owen,

I must admit that I am writing this post over a month after the day of your birthday, but I will do my best to record the memories of that special day! This year, incredibly, you turned fourteen years old. How is that even possible? Wasn't it just yesterday that you were toddling around in a diaper and red cowboy boots? I blink my eyes and now your waist is by far higher than my own, with the longest of legs stretched below. But you are still eager to cuddle and try to curl your lanky limbs onto my lap, and that is something I simply love about you.

This year on your birthday, you predictably wanted both oatmeal bake for breakfast and chocolate cake with peanut butter icing for your celebration with family and missionary aunts and uncles. Though I tried so hard to keep the secret up until the day of your celebration, you wore me down and I confessed a few days early to buying the coveted bass guitar you had been saving towards and we would complete payment of as your birthday present. It had been hiding at Uncle Jon and Aunt Pam's in expectation of your big day and since then you have jumped in with both feet, learning to play in the footsteps of your cousin Mati. We are very proud of your efforts!

For your birthday meal with Mom and Dad, you hoped to try something rather exotic but unfortunately our first attempt was unsuccessful due to both a cash-only policy and the absence of what we wanted to order off the menu (TII!) So we ate at the Viejo Iquiqueño instead, discovering for the very first time that there was an optional second floor with a beautiful outdoor view towards the ocean! 

I can't remember the reasons now why your little brother Silas did not make it to the cutting of birthday cake. Birthdays are his favorite but I think he was just so exhausted from all the excitement that we sent him to bed early! So the very first thing on his mind the next morning was, of course, birthday cake and you kindly reenacted the blowing out of candles with his help after he sweetly sang Happy Birthday to you again. God has given you a very special role as big brother not only to little Silas, but also Ian and Alec who look up to you and admire you. I pray that your relationship with each of them continues to strengthen and grow as you all mature and understand what a blessing it is to be family.

Dear Owen, at fourteen years old you are taller than your sisters and nearly taller than me. You've been on a learning curve this year with online school but for the most part have plugged away consistently. Basketball has been a thrice weekly pastime with the Aguilas Negras team, and you've been dedicated to playing guitar (now bass) on our little worship team affectionately called "Pipe y los gringos!" The neighborhood boys regularly come around to call your name and carry you off to play basketball or soccer - or in one strange recent occasion, to join them in doing tricks at the streetlight for coins (insert bug-eyed emoji here, ha!) 

My prayer for you this year is to discover the greatness of God in a personal way in your own life. I pray that Jesus becomes more than a name that you hear at church or family devos or in one of my famous "mom lectures!" I pray that He becomes your closest confidante and trusted friend.

God has given you so many unique qualities, one of which is your ability to connect with people and make friends and communicate with peers and adults alike. The most transforming message you could ever share with others through your life is that you know and serve an incredible God who has done amazing things for you! I love you, my dear sweet Owen and wish you the happiest 14th year of life and many great adventures and joyful experiences to come. 

All my love,

Previous birthday posts:

13th Birthday - Owen
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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