I think it's completely unfair that the year I turn 40 I also have to have my first teenager. Boy, did I time that one wrong! If you're looking for an emotional wreck of a person, look no further.
I will say, though, that I couldn't have picked a better child to have as my first teenager. Owen has been by-the-book since he was born. He slept through the night when he was six weeks old, sat up at six months, walked at one year, potty-trained before he was three, and when he started school at age five, he was a model student. All of these years I've watched him grow and change and try new things. I have watched him ride a bike for the first time and catch his first fish and play t-ball and basketball and swim. I have listened to his stories and his knowledge and his jokes. He has taken this past year in stride and has just been a lot of fun.
This year has been all new for Owen. He is now in seventh grade-the dreaded middle school years. He has learned how to juggle books and classes and time and how to be accountable for himself. He has also joined the cross-country team where he went from a timid newcomer who wanted to quit in the first week, to a comfortable, confident runner.
Owen continues to amaze me in his role as "big brother".
He trained for a 5k all summer with Emerson...
He shared the golf cart with Greyson...
He wrangled our birds in the yard with Alayna...
And he even took time to play with Nash in the shallow water at the lake.
I really got to know a lot about Owen this year. I hadn't realized that he wasn't a little kid anymore. We share books and then go to see the corresponding movies, always agreeing that the book was way better, we talk about running and how it challenges you, we tell jokes the younger kids don't get, and he's the only child so far that has gotten up on skis behind the boat!
I have always thought that Owen was the spitting image of his dad, but lately, he's been showing signs that he's my kid, too! He loves to joke around and he is highly sarcastic. When Emerson went off on one of her supermodel posing episodes on the beach, he even jumped in and stole her hat and imitated her, much to my amusement.
I love that he loves being outside. This farm life has been so good for Owen. He's always scooping up a chicken or a duck or a turkey and carrying them around and I can always get him to walk with me around the property.
He's also not too big to jump in the leaves, and I hope he never thinks differently.
I've always said that he's not a big talker, but really, he's just not one to initiate a conversation. He's actually always up for chatting, but you'll just have to make the first move. He really is a hilarious kid, and if the mood hits him just right, you'll get to see a genuine, uninhibited smile, and those are the BEST.
As usual, Owen asked for chocolate pie for his birthday instead of cake, so chocolate pie is what he got.
He could hardly contain himself when, after he blew out his candles, I handed him a fork and told him the whole pie was just for him. I had made a second pie for the rest of us to enjoy. How many times in your life do you get to eat pie like THIS?!
If you see Owen, mention that you heard he's a teenager now. He's pretty proud of himself and it'll show. And me? I am pretty proud of that boy, too. This year, I'm not spending too much time thinking about what's behind him, because I am really excited to see where he is going. This kid might have done things by-the-book growing up, but he is ready to tackle the future and he's going to do it in his own unique way.
Happy birthday, Owen. Mama loves you!