It's hard to imagine you being the little football-sized baby I held in my arms fifteen years ago. Today we celebrate you, and as a 6' 00" 220+ lb teenager that's a lot to celebrate! Many teenage guys your age are struggling with pressures of wanting to do adult things, and still wanting to be a kid where mom and dad handle the hard decisions. You're starting to find a balance with this. We braced ourselves over the past few years dealing with some of the choices you made which taught you a hard lesson. Through this we all grew as a family. I believe it's also made your dad and I grow as parents, and you as an individual. We are very proud of you.
No matter what gifts you get, money you receive, or birthday wish you make, remember the most important gift of all is that we gave you life. And by bringing you into this world, investing time, food, shelter, clothing, and imparting our wisdom, we expect a little bit in return. We expect you to make mistakes and learn from them. We expect you to try harder when everyone else gives up. We expect you to respect yourself and others, mind your manners. We expect you to look to the future while appreciating the here and now. We expect you to love us, faults and all, as much as we love you.
I know you will exceed these expectations.
To remember today's shenanigans here's a little recap of how you started your fifteenth birthday:
Sixty balloons, a Halloween prop, and a laptop at 1:30 a.m. Setting up our oldest son's birthday surprise. He gets a new laptop and we get the entertainment of scaring the crap out of him when he takes his morning shower.
Happy 15th Birthday, Ant!