(Here's a little random rambling from me, just because PPP is my little corner of the internet where I get to share deals, but also remember a few favorite things about my kids. If you're here just for the deals scoot onto the next penny pinched post~ I'm so thankful for you!)
18 years ago today, Jackson.
(It sounds a lot longer than it can possibly be, but truly, it was merely 18 years ago today.)
You were just six weeks old that day, and this 24-year-old-brand-new-mom-heart had no idea what to do with a grouchy-colicky-not-at-all-happy-to-do-anything-else-but-pace-the-floors-all-day-long you.
A wise mom informed me after babysitting you for just a few hours that clearly you'd become an airline pilot one day.
(Since her husband was a pilot himself, I figured she clearly knew some inside secret . . . )
until she said you'd be an airline pilot because you liked to be bounced “up in the air” all day.
You wore this poor 24-year-old-girl right out.
Fast forward two years and I finally thought you and I had it all figured out.
When you walked down a path I made sure you walked straight down the middle of the line.
If you turned too far right or left, I guided your steps back toward the center of the way.
If you started to fight discipline, I pulled out the “I'm-bigger-than-you-and-I-will-always-win” card at no matter what cost.
In fact one day, when you and I chose a battle of wills, you stubbornly refused to change out of your all-time-favorite-grey-train-t-shirt after wearing it for over a week.
Determined to win, I refused to let you out of your room until that grubby (but still super cute) little grey t-shirt was changed.
So there you stayed hunkered down in battle, for over three hours at the age of two, until you finally fell asleep on top of your all-time-favorite-grey-train-t-shirt-that-you-ended-up-wearing-for-the-next-two-weeks-too.
You played “umpire” constantly with your catchers mask (any old baseball cap turned around backwards would do.)
You threw a ball with dad every time you got a chance, and when there wasn't a ball to be found, you told dad to “just use his ‘-magination.”
You dreamt up stories about Captain Hook and Peter Pan, Cowboys and Indians, and most of all your favorite St. Louis player Pujols standing on first base with you at the bat.
And then you grew.
You fell in love with playing outside every moment you could with your best friend next door.
Together you two cut down massive branches in the “fort” next to our house (which happened to be the only large tree we had anywhere near our house at the time.)
You always came up with crazy ways to play when it was freezing outside. 🙂
You idolized your grandpa, went for long walks with him to pick up a pack of Combos and rainbow sherbert jell-o, and always stopped to check the “greasy spot” the dead possum left in the road on the way home. 🙂
You survived a few unexpected losses, a not-so-easy move, and watched our family go through some not-at-all easy seasons too.
You nearly killed yourself kayaking in the middle of the highest river the Olentangy had ever seen (proven the next morning when the police came looking to find you. Thankfully you'd made it home safely the night before ~ your kayak just wasn't quite as lucky.)
You tried out rugby and basketball, soccer and baseball, and somehow made the tennis team as a senior in high school this year even though you'd never picked up a racket in your life.
And became a decent snare player too. 🙂
As you've walked through this life, your dad and I hope we've guided you at least a little. As you know better than anyone else we've tried to steer you clearly down the middle of the path (you think we're helicopter parents, although goodness knows we're not?) We've tried to guide your footprints easily down the road, to make your path smooth, and to raise your two younger sisters at the same too.
It's been a really fun (trying-exhausting-I'm-so-tired-I'm-pretty-sure-I've-lost-every-last-one-of-my-brain-cells . . . ) eighteen years hanging out with you.
But today we're handing you the path.
You get to choose.
You can choose to head left or head right, or choose to walk straight down the middle too.
You can choose to come home every single weekend for some best-ever-cookies, 🙂 or choose to stay at college and never come see us again.
(Um, not really. If that's the choice I promise I'll do exactly what this momma did. You've been warned.)
So here are the keys kiddo.
You pick the future now.
You choose where you're headed, you choose which branches to trim down and which forts to build tall . . .
. . .and you choose which shirt to wear for two weeks in a row too.
(Just remember, this momma does laundry really well.)
(She makes a mean chocolate e'clair cake.)
(Buys the very best mac-and-cheese at Costco ever ~ way better than you could ever pick out on your own.)
(And whips up a pretty near perfect banana pudding too.)
But most of all remember that wherever you go and whatever you do, your dad and I will be right here cheering (and praying!) for you.
See more about me sharing some parenting failures (yikes) and successes + a cool grad gift right HERE.