We almost missed you, you know. We thought for a while that maybe two children were enough. But I began to have this awful feeling, this sense that someone was missing. It was never about having three kids really. I just knew we weren’t all here yet. And then there was you. The moment you were born, everything was right. Our family was complete.
I love your passion. You have this way of settling into a moment and drinking its nectar to the dregs. I think of you when I read these words from Jack Kerouac:
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”
I envy your audacity; your willingness to dream BIG dreams. I exult in your joie de vivre. It is contagious, you know. You are a celebration waiting for an excuse. And I love the way a person’s face lights up when he or she talks about you.
Do you suppose there is anyone in the world as curious as you? Hotel room, new car, hiking trail, doesn’t matter. You are always up for an explore. And you do not stop until you know everything there is to know. For you, the world is a wondrous place, full of possibility. Never lose that.
Your creativity inspires and delights me. Whether you are decorating the table, arranging food artfully on a plate, redecorating your room, or assembling an outfit, you are compelled to make things beautiful. I like that about you.
You are one of my very favorite singers. I enjoy singing with you in the car or around the house. But I especially love seeing you on stage. You belong there, you know. I remember the first time you sang in the talent show at school. You sang Amazing Grace. Clean. Clear. And when you finished, no one moved. They just sat there letting the last echoes hang in the room, afraid to breathe, afraid to disturb the magic. It was a marvelous moment.
Your skills as an actor seem to have grown exponentially in the past couple of years. Seeing you in Legally Blonde was remarkable. I was so caught up in your storytelling, I sometimes forgot it was you I was watching. Keep telling stories, my love; in your art and with your life. The world is hungry for them.
I love that you give your talents to God. And I love that you have the courage to try new things, things that scare you: auditioning for shows, leading worship at church. I am eager to see where your art takes you.
Seeing you with Kenzie is gift. You have always been pied piper of the littles. Younger cousins love to be where you are, and children who visit our home always remember “Josh”. And now there is this niece who adores you; who comes in the house asking for you every morning. You will be a wonderful father someday. Of this, I am sure.
I don’t remember exactly when it was that you started giving me three kisses at night or when we part. It seems like it has always been so. When I am an old lady and can’t remember my name, give me three kisses and I will remember you.
I am so grateful that I did not miss knowing you, beloved. Life is more vivid, more vibrant and vivacious because there is you. Blessings to you on this, your 16th birthday!
I love you.