Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Dear Braeden,

You're twenty today.  And your gift from me won't be there in time.  I don't know whether to blame Amazon or the Pleasant Grove Post Office more but the fact that your gift is late makes me very sad.

I guess it's just one of those things.  When you're an adult, your birthdays are different.  Your mom has a smaller role in the celebration.  That makes me sad too.

Someday your wife will hopefully pick up the slack and make you feel loved and celebrated in a big way.  (You know I have candidates in mind for the job and the list is growing.  These are the hazards of having a mom who is Young Women's president.)

Or you can live next door to me and I'll make you a big chocolate cake with mint frosting every year.  I'll shape it like a frog and dye the frosting green.

Also, I'll do that next year.  ( You won't be next door but you'll be at BYU and that is close enough.)

I'm glad you were born.  Your existence and the blessing you are in my life make me feel like Heavenly Father loves me.  He gave me you!  What a gift.

I've messed up and fallen short and continue to (your gift will be late) but despite my faults, you are spectacular.

I thank my lucky stars that I had you as my sidekick when we moved to Connecticut and I got lost every time I ventured into the streets of New Haven.  I appreciate what you taught me about teaching school that made my degree in elementary education feel like only an introductory course.  I like that you taught me that teenagers are the best and all the people that don't like teenagers haven't met the right ones.  I'm thankful for the ways you continue to inspire me with your dogged determination to do your best and stare down challenges.

I'm grateful for the one million times (ballpark figure) you have made me laugh.

I'm grateful for the ways you have challenged me and have caused me to turn to experts for wisdom and to Heavenly Father for help.  It wouldn't be the same if motherhood were easy.  It just wouldn't feel so Big and I wouldn't be learning so much.

I'm grateful for your peace loving and huge heart.  You love full throttle and those of us lucky enough to be in your line of fire are never the same again.

And people love you back.  Yesterday I was reduced to tears--a big grateful ugly cry--because the Justesens wanted to know your favorite treat.  They wanted to acknowledge your birthday.  You aren't in their area any more but they're not the type to let details get in the way.

Amazon and the PG post office may let me down, but the world is full of good people that make up the difference.

Mark said to celebrate your birthday, he's going to hide twenty pairs of your socks all around the house.  I don't think we have twenty pairs of your socks.

I miss you.  Every hour of every day.  But I don't miss your socks.

Happy Birthday sweet boy.  Thanks for being mine.  Thanks for loving me even when I disappoint.  Thanks for being you.

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