I'm usually pretty good at getting the words down that express exactly how I feel, but there are none. My baby is now 15 and have a mixture of happiness and sadness warring within me as I type this out. I am so proud of what Matthew has become and accomplished. No, he's not the smartest in his class. No, he doesn't always make top marks in his classes. No, he's not the most popular kid at school. No, he's not the most athletic kid. But, he has a sweet soul and a giving heart. He has a sense of humor that causes you to think as you laugh. He cares about others and tries to do the right thing. Mind you, I know he doesn't always make the right choices and certainly doesn't walk on water. But, Tracy and I love him more than words can ever express.
It's only natural to consider the future when you think of the past. I'm sad that he will be making his own way in the world in three short years. I don't even know where the last 15 years have gone, so I know that the next three are going to be exceedingly fast. I want to keep him close, but know that isn't the right thing to do. Tracy and I want him to experience the world, but want to shelter him from the hardness of the world. We want him to make his own way as he carves out his life, but we want to help him with those struggles. Wars within the heart of how to protect another's does not always come to amicable conclusion, I'm afraid.
It is a hard thing to know when you let go. When you stop telling them what to do and start offering advice. Guidance if you will. Exactly where is the line for helping out and spoiling? Taking over and smothering? These and other questions have us wondering where to go from here and if we have made some major mistakes in the past.
We move forward with God's love and grace, so in the end, that is all we really need to share with him. Make certain that he knows how to receive it and how to give it to others. And of course, to come home when life has him down. Family will always be here with love in our hearts and open arms.
Happy birthday my sweet boy. We will always love you, no matter the mistakes or the roads you decide to travel. We were there in the very beginning, we will be here during the journey, and we will remain to the very end as your most loving fans.