Saturday, October 13, 2007

Nearly A Teen

This week, my son turned twelve years old.

For his birthday, we decided to take him out to dinner to wherever he wanted to go. His choice was Buffalo Wild Wings; he is really on a kick of late for buffalo wings plus the place has tons of large screen televisions all around with various sports on them. If we're still living in the same place when he turns legal at 21, I know the first place to take him for a drink.

As for a gift, he asked for an iPod. That's all he really wanted for his birthday. He has lots of friends in middle school who have them. He enjoys music - including a lot of classic rock (I'm glad we've been able to steer him to some music we enjoy as well - rather than a lot of dreck of current music on the radio). His mom was able to go online and order exactly the color he had been asking for - and their delivery time was incredible (it showed up well in advance - we so love online shopping).

I remember the moment right after he was born, when the nurse wrapped him in a blanket after checking him over and cleaning him up. It was the first time I had ever held a baby so tiny and so new to the world. It was a moment that will stay with me until my dying days. I wanted to protect him from all the negative things in the world.

I remember struggling with my anger and frustrations when we learned he had a brachial plexus injury, caused during the delivery. I remember being by my wife's side, supporting her, every time he underwent surgery at such a young age for procedures to help with the condition (nerve grafts, muscle related surgeries, etc.).

I remember his first steps and his first words. I remember the times he asked for my help with his homework. I remember with pride and relief all of the times he found ways around his disability to do things I was so worried that he'd might not ever be able to do. Things like tying his shoes, riding a bike, and learning to swim.

It won't be too long from now when he'll start wanting to hang out with his friends more, or he'll start dating or be wanting to borrow the car. It won't be too long until we'll have to let him go off on his own to college.

They grow up so fast.

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