Monday, February 6, 2012

a teenager {oh Henry!}

February, 6, 1999.  The last millennium.
You entered our lives and they will never be the same!

When you were born, we celebrated by handing out Oh Henry! candy bars.  Silly, I suppose, especially since we couldn't find enough of them and had to get the local drugstore to order two boxes just for us to hand out.  Everyone wanted to know who you were named after, and "are you sure it's not John Henry?"  No.  Henry John.  Certainly not Hank. You were named after your great-grandpa, William Earl Henry, and your father and his father, John Paul and John Edward.  You never met your father's father.  Neither did I, so we'll have to get more history for your memory bank by listening to your Dad's stories.

Daddy remembers your birth (and most details) much better than I do.  Heck, I don't even remember how much you weighed when you were born.  I do recall that you were the biggest of my sons.  You came into the world very quiet, with the cord wrapped around your neck twice.  Dad followed you over to the warmer until you let us know, with a small cry, that you were ok and ready to greet the world. 

After that first day, life with you was never dull!  Two days home from the hospital, we had a kitchen fire.  Details are kinda fuzzy now, but I recall that I was nursing you on the couch when from around the corner in the kitchen I saw a flash of fire.  I tossed you (yes, I was not a perfect mother then either) onto the footstool and ran to get the fire extinguisher.  When that didn't work, I returned to find you on the floor (how in the world?!) and snatched you up to run outside after you father, who was out for a walk with Ella.  We'll skip over the rest of the details of that day, but the next two weeks were spent in nearby hotel rooms.  I brought you to the pediatrician's office, admitting what had happened, and you checked out fine.  Life in a hotel room with a newborn.  Interesting.  Alek loved it, as he got to go swimming every day after school.  You, I and Dad...  well, we started life together in an entirely different way than we had imagined.  But it was good.

We used to call you chunky-monkey. You had rolls and rolls like the Michelin tire man.

You nursed like a champ.  Grew like a weed. 
You were a good baby. 

My only thumb-sucker.  You're now paying the price of an overbite with braces.  Your smile melts my heart and will be all the greater with straight, pearly whites.

You're growing up too quickly.... right.before.our.eyes!
How is it possible that you're thirteen?

Inquisitive.  Full of wonder.  Talented.   A friend to all.  Compassionate.  Full of grace.

You've grown out of your "Michelin rolls" and out of your curls.
You've grown into your own.  Taller and more handsome every day.
Full of spirit, personality & spunk!

You're almost as tall as I am now.

Oh, don't get me wrong.  You've shown tendencies of the typical teenage boy lately...  letting the homework slip by, while you figure our your priorities might not be the same as Mom and Dad's... picking on your younger brother...  giddy, sarcastic and silly almost 90% of the time...  we're on to you, kid!  But we believe you're growing into a fine young man, Henry, and we are so very proud.

Happy 13th Birthday, Oh Henry!

We love you,
Mom & Dad

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