Sixteen! Seems just yesterday I was writing your 13th birthday letter, at the start of these teen years that were unknown and (from my view point anyways) not a little scary. Now you’re turning 16 and the thing I should have realized is that you weren’t going to become someone else, someone I didn’t know anymore – you were just, are just, becoming more you. And it’s awesome.
With more depth, more humour, more individuality. Instead of becoming less sure of yourself, and more like those around you, the opposite is happening – you’ve never been afraid to have your own thoughts and voice your own opinions and that’s becoming stronger. And yet you’re also unashamedly loving. Your gentleness still shines through. You still snuggle with me, still dance with me in the kitchen or even in coffee shops, still tell me in words and actions how loved I am. You still do the ‘lean’ thing when our hands are together – I love that.
And what I love as much is how you share your world with me – you have no idea how much it means to me that you want to talk to me about your ideas, plans, friendships, school days, books, computer games, dreams and beliefs. You haven’t shut me out, and I know how rare that is between teenagers and parents, moms and sons. Thank you for not locking me out.
You’re not perfect and this letter isn’t meant to put you on a pedestal – but it is about me, seeing you, watching you, living with you and loving you as my son and as a person and a man I am proud to know.