Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Brad

Thursday is my son's 20th birthday. I love him dearly - he has brought so much joy and happiness to my life. So - in honor of his birthday, here are 10 things you should know about my oldest son:

1. He loved his mommy so much he refused to “be born” when he was supposed to – managing to hang on tight in his mother’s womb for an unprecedented two weeks after his due date. I finally had had enough and demanded that the doctor go in there and get him OUT! He came out weighing an astonishing 9 pounds! In the nursery at the hospital, his layette was between two tiny 5-pound black babies…a visitor was standing at the window and exclaimed, “Oh look – it’s a Double-Stuffed Oreo.” I laughed so hard I ripped out my C-section stitches. Ouch.

2. He’s had perfect health his entire life – nary a cold or the flu or anything. Perfect attendance all through school. Disgustingly healthy. Unnaturally healthy. He certainly didn’t get that from me.

3. He was such a good baby – even through the supposed “terrible twos” – that our friends and family wanted to clone him. My mom said I was spoiled and didn’t know what a “real” baby was like. I didn’t care. He was my first and he was near perfect.

4. When he was 9, I took him on a trip – just the two of us – to the East Coast, where we stopped one day at Gettysburg. This was because he was obsessed with Civil War history. While there, we took a tour of the battlefield. The tour guide would spout out some interesting trivia – and then my precocious 9-year old would say, “And the rest of the story is this…” and then proceed to spit out even MORE trivia. The tour guide finally said, “Oh my God – he’s only 9?! He can do this tour better than I can – he’s amazing.” And he still is.

5. I have one son who's an athlete - and this son is my brainiac. Very smart. Extremely smart. (He got that from me....) He was so smart all through school that when he was in 5th-grade, the counselor told us that we needed to consider having him skip 6th-grade – as the 6th-grade curriculum could teach him nothing that he didn’t already know. He's pretty smart.

6. In 7th grade, he scored in the top 1% of ALL kids in the nation on the SAT’s. He and I and Grandma took a road trip to Duke University that summer to pick up his award for his high score. I was a proud mom – but dang, that was a long road trip for just a certificate!

7. In 7th, 8th, AND 9th grade, he was invited to attend Truman State University for 3 weeks in the summer for gifted students. Each year, he took a different college-level course – staying in the dormitory - doing his own laundry. It was hard letting a 12-year old stay in a college dorm without his mommy for 3 weeks – but he handled it well. Better than I did.

8. In 10th grade, he was one of two Missouri Scholars chosen from his high school, allowing him to attend Missouri Scholar Academy at the University of Missouri that summer for 3 weeks. Again, another college-level class – by now, I was handling it very well sending him away each summer. And I was certainly okay with him doing his own laundry.

9. In high school, he became interested in drama – and starred in several of the high school theater productions. He was surprisingly good – I didn’t know he could act. Of course, he DID get that from me.

10. He’s now a sophomore at Truman State University on a full academic scholarship, where he’s majoring in Religion and Spanish. His goal is to be a missionary in central America – preferably Guatemala, where I’ve taken him for 3 years now on mission trips. He’s an amazingly intelligent and compassionate young man – and I’m very proud of him.

Happy 20th Birthday, Kiddo! I love you!


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