Well, Kyle, we made it to 15! Everyone said 14 would be a tough one, but here we are, relatively unscathed.
It's shocking really, because of course, I am incredibly annoying. And just so intrusive. And LAME. I ask way too many questions about your friends and plans. Like, obviously, I don't need to know anyone's name or anyone's parents' names. And a phone number of the house where the hanging out is happening? For the love. I mean, what am I? The CIA?
And then, sometimes when we are in public and there are other people around, I actually speak to you. Out loud. AT THE HIGH SCHOOL. It's weird, man. Don't worry though. I'm sure it's just a phase I'm going through.
At least when I walk into the gym to see you warming up on the basketball court you greet me exactly the same way as you did back when you were ready to get up from your nap. Oh, how excited you are to see your momma! Your little face just lights up like a Christmas tree when I walk in that gym. It's just exactly like this:
Or maybe it's not at all like that.
But, guess what, chicken butt? I know better. You do like to see me when I walk in that gym. Oh, yes, sir, you do. Because I am your biggest and bestest fan. And, I don't know jack about basketball which means that pretty much everything you do out there seems a-ok by me. So even though when I get settled in the stands and catch your eye, I only see a barely perceptible head nod, I know that in your heart you're making that same exact face that's up there in that picture. You can't tell me otherwise, so just save it, Skinner.
In the last year you have become taller than me and way cooler. You are exasperating and funny and stubborn and sweet and cutting and kind and so handsome I can't even take it. You can watch shows about stabbing zombies directly in the head at the same time that you can calm our 3 pound puppy like no one else. You can do an impression of just about anyone and make me laugh until diet Coke comes out of my nose. You will disagree with me about everything from serious issues to what color the sky is until I get so frustrated that I think I'm going to explode. Then just in the nick of time, I notice a mischievous gleam in your eye. You are playing me, kid, and I fall for it every single time.
And I wouldn't want to give up a single one of those qualities. I wouldn't want to give up a single time you drove me nuts or made me laugh or frustrated me or stunned me with your big heart. Because all of those things are wrapped up in the gift of a boy who is fearfully and wonderfully made by a God so extravagantly gracious that He gave you to me. To me? I couldn't believe it at 3:19 am on January 7th, 2001 and I can't believe it now.
Oh, the heaps of grace and love and laughter and pride your life has brought me. I love you more than any one human being you will ever know and there ain't a thing you can do about it, bud. Happy Birthday, Kyle Walker.