Our firstborn is about to be married, and of course as a mom, I've spent a lot of time trying to remember the past 23--almost 24--years of his life which have sped by. Ben was
born with a passion to succeed, to get ahead, to accomplish more than the average Joe. (No offense intended if you're Joe or love a Joe.) In fact, he was even born "ahead of the game." The day after my baby shower, three weeks ahead of his due date, it was like he said, "Okay, Mom, I'm 7 and 1/2 pounds, very long and strong. I gotta get outta here. You've got the clothes, diapers, crib, and car seat for me. You've got the milk. I'm good to go." The contractions started up at 9 a.m, lasted all day, and then he "clocked out" of the womb at 5:00 pm on the dot. It's the time of day that he is now ready to leave the office after a productive eight hours. Boom. Planned. Executed. Done!
When it comes to sports, he's always been good at them--baseball, soccer, and lacrosse especially. In fantasy football leagues he has won several times, even as a high schooler up against grown men. He won again this year in one of his three leagues. By one point!
He's logical, methodical, and can build a case for almost anything. He can reason like a trial lawyer, and wear me down like one, too. I remember when we were going to get a new dog after our border collie died in 2002, I made the kids write a persuasive essay about which kind they wanted. Stephen just wanted "a good dog." Sarah wanted a puppy because she loves babies, and puppies are so cute and you can train them the way you want them. They don't come with bad habits. (Hahahahaha.) But Ben had multiple reasons for an adult Golden Retriever from the shelter. He was specific that way, and substantiated "why an adult dog," "why a Golden," and "why from the shelter." (Three main points with strong supports under each one. Way to go. Gotta love that.) Guess what we ended up with?
The very first "real" job at age 16, he wanted to work as a bus boy at our local Italian restaurant. (Well, he really wanted to wait tables because of the bigger tips and interaction with people--including girls--but he wasn't old enough to serve alcohol.) He marched in there, head held high and looking sharp. He interviewed with the manager while I waited in the car. An hour later, he came out with a contract.
This Christmas when I went shopping for him, the list included mostly things off his wedding registry that he will need in the apartment before the wedding. (He is moving in on January 14th, and his bride will join him when he carries her over the threshhold in March. Sniff, sniff. )
The shopping trip made me recall Ben's boards--the ones he has asked for as he's grown up.
When he was 12, he asked for a skateboard.
When he was 17, he asked for a boogie board.
When he was 19, he asked for a snowboard.
And now he is 23.
Here's the board he asked for this Christmas.
Son, may you spend a lot of time in prayer as you "iron out the wrinkles" in your new life as a married man. I love you.