Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Letter to an Eleven Year Old Boy: Brighton's Birthday Letter 2014

Dear B, Eleven!  How long will it take me to get used to saying that?  We had fun celebrating you over the weekend— overwhelmed by all your “thank you’s”.  Once Daddy, Julia and I acted like complete weirdos for the birthday wake up, I made the dash to the doughnut place so I could fulfill your wish for the “doughnut tower” you’d seen a friend get.  So, remember, eleven was your first doughnut tower year.  WHEN, my boy, do we EVER buy doughnuts?!  I didn’t even know where the closest one was.  I miss the days when you had your first one and said, “This is the BEST BAGEL I’ve ever had!”  Oh the days of a little boy who liked healthy food…..  You try—- even faking “like” sometimes.   This year when our family decided to try the Fresh 20 menu plan, you were more than happy to offer to give it up for Lent.  Nice try.  But your tastebuds are still simple and prefer a PB& J over just about anything but pizza maybe.  I am thanking the Lord you still love apples.  Surely I can raise a big, strong young man on apples?

You had a big year.  Transitioning to a new home, a new space, a new room was a big deal for you.  You are like your momma in the sense that you don’t like a bunch of change.  Your year 9 and 10 had a lot of that and you’ve fought through it.  You miss familiar things— even our old cars, my old purses and you can hardly get rid of anything.  Everything gets “put in the attic for when I need it”.  You mention our previous home from time to time but I sense your easiness now in this one. It’s home, B, because we are all here.  And you told me once, “I like this place”.

My egg man

The things I’ll want to remember — some I love and some I don’t always feel just “warm fuzzy” about:  how you report to me all throughout the day what you’ve finished and what you need to finish, how you ALWAYS call when I leave the house- not just once, how when asked if you’ve followed some direction we’ve given you, you are always “on [your] way to do that right now”, how your money still must be spent {!!!!!!}, how you say goodbye and good night until the last possible minute, how you still begin to speak before I can hit end on the call I am having in the car, how your legs shake and your tongue works overtime when you are nervous or excited, how you must have sweet with salty, how you love old things whether it’s something of mine, your daddy’s, your uncle’s or any of your family’s things, how you search for the old school electronics on ebay, how thankful you are, how you value your friendships, and how you value your family.

You were introduced to Rocky this year and became quite enthralled.  I’d say ten was the year of Rocky.  You watched a few of them with your Daddy over a period of time and decided you wanted to join a boxing league.  I’m pretty cool— enthusiastic about most sports— but not that one.  I wouldn’t expend a half an ounce of energy towards researching that.  Dream on, son.  You just live vicariously through Sylvester and save yourself some troubles in your 60’s.

You got to play with your baseball team at the Dr. Pepper Field at Rangers Stadium and play with your football team at Cowboys Stadium.  We spent Spring Break in Rockport doing some pretty silly things.  We learned the waltz together and you, my man, are a great dancing partner.  You tried out basketball this year for your school.  You went away for an entire week of camp at T-Bar M and we couldn’t talk to you for 6 days!!  You had a blast and I was so proud of you.  You earned your red cap at Thursday Boys this year.  You switched school days and God answered our prayers and friends switched with you.  Even though our school days aren’t always rosy and full of bliss, I love that the three of us can be home together those 2 days.  You’ll be thankful for that one day too.

Had to include this one-- the smile that screams, "I am so done with this-- can I get back to my team now?"

You and your sister are still at it.  Some days, I think I’ve referred to it before as a “love fest” and other days, I wonder if you’ve been secretly raised by wolves.  Yowzers.  I prefer the former— in all its cheesiness ANYday over the snarling and picking.  Just the other day after one of the “attacks”, I asked if you had made things right with Julia and you said you had but I could tell you weren’t settled.  So I poked around a little more and you said, “She hasn’t asked me for forgiveness since 2008.  And I remember it.”  It’s a good thing you aren’t prone to exaggeration when you are mad.  I do love it though when I hear the two of you laughing upstairs— the kind I know is genuine fun and both of you are truly happy together.  There’s hardly anything a momma likes to hear more.  Your sister loves you even when she’s mad at you— it’s just harder to tell then.  I don’t think I told you this but a few Thursdays ago when you were at Thursday boys, Julia and I were home in the quiet house and she noticed it.  She said a few things about you but then told me, “I love it when B wears his pj’s that are too small— like the sleeves and pants are too short and the shirt is tight across his belly.  He looks so cute— Mom, don’t stop buying him those kinds of pajamas.”  She loves you and misses you when you aren’t here.  I don’t care what she tells you.

You guys entertain yourselves often so Jeff and I can have have adult time with others.

At Starbucks the other day, you saw this woman on an CD cover and you whispered to me, “Mom, she looks like one of those who want you to come to her.”  I was a little taken aback by what you said {You didn’t know that, did you?  You aren’t supposed to know that.  I did good, didn’t I?} because I wondered how you meant it.  So I asked and you said, “You know. That woman in the Proverbs.”  Crystal clear.  Your daddy is investing much in you, young man, and your time in the Proverbs on the road trip with him to Florida will pay off.  In very big ways.  All of what your dad is thinking through for you and planning to do for you over the years to come can be a strong structure on a sure foundation if your heart is receptive.  I pray almost every day that your heart would stay soft so the Word planted there can grow and produce that hundredfold crop Jesus talks about.  I’m trusting Him for that.

If I could speak anything into your life this year, it would be 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given [you] the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  I pray for you to have courage and to trust the God to whom you gave your life.  I pray for you to walk in confidence and security, and be free to love with clear understanding and sound judgment.  I don’t want fear to have any place within you or any hold upon you.   You are so loved and it seems very important at this age for you to know that YOU are a Sanders boy, through and through.  No, we may not share the same blood or genes, but you are our boy because God in His sovereignty planned it that way and nothing can ever change that.

When I asked you what you wanted for your birthday, you got real deliberate as you started making the final list.  We were in the car and you paused and stated in all seriousness, “I am making some big decisions right now.”  And I tell you even at 11, you are.  Not about birthday gifts, but about WHO you are becoming as Jeffrey Brighton Sanders.  You are free to choose.  You’ve been taught a lot— you know the Scriptures and the stark contrast between right and wrong and the consequences of each.  I pray for you — that the choices you make would reflect WHOSE you are and WHO you want to be. I love who you are.  I see world of potential in you and the personality God has given you.  I am proud to be your momma and am privileged and honored to have a front row seat in your life.

I love you, B.


Sarah said...

Awww… I always love the birthday posts. And for goodness sakes, if you need to know where the donut shops are, you could have asked the Wolfes ;)

Alyssa said...

The 2008 comment cracked me up! But then again, B always makes me smile, and he does that for so many others with his hugs and sweet compliments. Loved seeing these pics and reading his behind-the-scenes dialog from the past year. You capture him well!

TJ Wilson said...

Great recap. My fav is what he wanted to give up for Lent. Love your boy!

Emily said...

I LOVE THIS YOUNG MAN SO MUCH! you get a front row seat, I get a next door neighbor seat, Spanish radio and all!