Happy Quaranfourteen, my boy!

14 years ago at this time, I didn’t yet know you. We were just hours away from meeting and I can’t wrap my head around that life changing day being 14 years ago.

14 years ago I didn’t know your hair would be blonde ringlets all through your toddler years and that your afro would return in a much darker shade in 7th grade.

14 years ago I didn’t realize that everyone of your firsts would be firsts for me as well. I would both celebrate and mourn them as if you’re growing up was somehow both a blessing and curse.

14 years ago I didn’t know you would be so tiny that build-a-bear clothes would fit you perfectly the first few months.

14 years ago I didn’t know you wouldn’t play sports, but instead your love would be theater and a drum set.

14 years ago I didn’t know you would have 3 younger brothers who look up to you as if Spider-Man himself lived in the middle bedroom.

14 years ago I didn’t know you would be obsessed with roller coasters. I didn’t know my convincing you to ride “Diamondback” would create such a fascination that I would need to learn new terminology.

14 years ago I didn’t know your list of favorite bands would have Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers at the top. The latter being one of my uncle’s favorites. The same uncle you’re named after. Your Uncle Keith would think you’re about as cool as a 14 year old could get if he were here to know you.

14 years ago I didn’t know the friends you would find in middle school. I didn’t know how proud it would make me to see the fantastic young people you choose to associate with.

14 years ago I didn’t know we would have to celebrate this birthday without our family and those incredible friends you have. I am so sorry your birthday will be lame. You would certainly choose to spend this day doing something outside of your house, almost anything other than being home with your immediate family, who you have been safely tucked inside with for a month now. You would choose King’s Island. You would choose having your friends over. You would choose having extended family over for pizza and cake. I‘m certain you’ll think this birthday is lame compared to others you’ll have throughout your life. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. It’s normal and someday I know you’ll look back on this birthday and realize how it broke my heart that you weren’t celebrated like you deserve. You’ll also see that I did everything in my power to make it great.

14 years ago I didn’t know you, but I’m so glad I do now. What a gift being your Mom has and will continue to be. I’m so glad we got to test out the waters together. You were the guinea pig for this job that I now know is my life’s work.

And while I didn’t know it 14 years ago, I now see that your presence in this world showed me God’s purpose for my life. You will always be the person who taught me the most in life and I’m still learning. I love you, son.

HAPPY QUARANFOURTEEN, ISAIAH KEITH

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