It was one of those moments when, for a split second, I wasn’t sure what outcome I really wanted. I was standing in the toilet aisle in Home Depot with my husband and oldest son, wondering where on earth our youngest son had gone to in the two seconds I had turned my head. No sooner had I realized he was missing, than I looked toward the display of toilet seats to see one of them starting to rise and open, seemingly on its own. “Dear Lord,” I silently thought to myself, “don’t even tell me…but, then again, how funny would that be?” I kept my eyes glued to the hanging throne only to see my little son’s head peek right on out, a prideful smile plastered on his face from ear to ear. I was horrified, yet strangely proud. I was angry he had walked away without telling us, yet couldn’t help but quickly reach for my phone to capture the hysterical result on film before any apron-clad employees shooed my son (and his clearly neglectful parents) out the door.
Today marks twelve years of logging memories such as these with our middle son, Noah. He is, as I just reminded him yet again this morning, One. Of. A. Kind. He is as spicy as the jalapeno’s that he will eat straight from the jar just for a snack. He is disorganized and flighty by nature and hasn’t even the slightest understanding of the word, “hustle”. He mirrors his father in both looks and comedic genius. He is brilliant with the computer and his artistry is truly something to behold. He always finds the unexpected funny and lives with a Peter Pan heart, trying desperately to hold on to his childhood and avoid the boredom that accompanies maturity. He often takes my breath away as he insists on playing dangerously close to the line; the line dividing that which is funny and appropriate and that which is, well, one but not quite the other. I am brought to laughter in spite of myself over and over again and seem to be lodged in a continuous tug-of-war between reigning him in and letting him be all that he is.
While Jim-Carrey-esque on the outside, on the inside, our Noah is one of those more complex creatures. Catch him in one of his more pensive moods, and you get a glimpse inside this guy’s heart that is altogether sensitive, fragile and genuinely kind. His feelings are most often a mystery to me and I pray earnestly for the right clues to be the mother he needs me to be. This dark-haired, blue-eyed man teaches us much about life, how to live in the moment, maintain perspective on what is truly important, the need to break the rules (once in a while) and the importance of holding tight to a childlike heart.
It isn’t easy to find the right words to express how cherished you are. You are not one for eloquent words or flowery phrases, so I’ll just get right to the point. Can you imagine what it must feel like for someone to win the lottery? The buildup to the big announcement? The pure shock and awe at the incredible odds turning out in your favor? That, my snuggly friend, is how I feel about being chosen to be your mom. I can’t say I’ll ever feel entirely worthy of the gift I have in you, but for whatever glorious reason, God gave you to me and I am overwhelmingly grateful He did. I don’t just love you, I downright like you; all of you, the whole package. From the freckles that are scattered across your nose, to the way you cry when you laugh, to the qualities that test the very core of my mothering capabilities, I. Am. So. Thankful. God. Gave. Us. You.
I’d be remiss if I ended without at least mentioning Noah’s latest and greatest. For those who may have a hard time envisioning themselves voting for the likes of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to run our fine country, have no fear. There is another option and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a great one. This candidate goes by the name of Dank Peterson. What does “dank” mean? Literally, it means damp and musty. In Noah terms, it somehow means “awesome”, in a random, entirely weird kind of way. A few weeks ago, he discovered he liked the sound of the word and decided to change his name (on Instagram, anyway) to Dank Peterson. Then came the idea of running for office. Just a few weeks later, he has a website, a fan club and is now addressed by friends and strangers alike as Dank. He went to school on his birthday wearing a t-shirt he himself created with his mug shot and the words, “Dank Peterson for President, 2016.” Self-confidence is not something this child lacks. Just yesterday he came home from school and told us someone he doesn’t even know walked by him in the hall and yelled, “Hey, Dank!” And this is how our Noah rolls.
Your politics may be a bit shady my buddy, but you’ve got my vote….today, tomorrow and always. Happy Birthday.