Eight years ago, I looked down at my newborn son and thought, “Wow. This kid’s ugly.” He was wrinkly, slimy, hairy, and he was missing his teeth! He looked exactly like my Grandpa Eli. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Justin from the moment I saw him. (And, I was very fond of Grandpa Eli, too.) I just wasn’t prepared for the fact that Justin didn’t look like the Gerber Baby immediately after he was delivered. As the nurses cleaned him off, I remembered slipping off one latex glove and putting my bare hand on his chest. I knew I had to be the first person to touch this child…and I was. We have been inseparable ever since. Today may be Justin’s 8th birthday, but to me it’s a reminder that the last 8 years have been the best time of my life.
Dear Justin – What an unbelievable year you have had. I don’t even know where to begin. You have grown so much physically and emotionally. You have excelled in school, made lots of new friends, and you’ve been a wonderful (and helpful) brother to Garrett. You have made us laugh with your goofy puns, you’ve amazed us with your incredible reading and storytelling, and (begrudgingly) I will admit that you have become a better “Gamer” than I will ever be. Although – I still blame you for burning down my Minecraft house!
Together, we’ve played video games, built Lego projects, read books (you love “Harry Potter”), done massive homework projects, cooked, fished, (and then cooked the fish…which you refused to eat), thrown the baseball around, gone swimming, taken vacations, and so much more. I love sitting next to you while watching “America’s Funniest Home Videos” because your laughter is infectious. And, I love taking you out to play golf. Like any true golfer, you complain all the way to the golf course. But, once you’re there, you play better than me and then complain when we have to leave.
Watching you grow up this year has been incredible and I can’t wait to see how great “8” will be!!
PS. – You weren’t that ugly when you were born. You were more like a gooey, screaming, albino raisin!