You were the game changer. You challenged everything I knew, everything with you was brand new. All the days and nights....months of sleeplessness I believed I couldn't survive. You were the one that made me fierce. You were the one that made me find my voice. You were the one who pushed me into something I didn't even know I wanted to do. You were the one who made me challenge doctors when they said something was wrong. I knew better. And I was right. You were the one who made me know I could trust myself to know what was best for you and your sister. I could do things differently than the way I grew up. It could be different for you. You were the happiest one with all the sweet chunkiness that a baby could hold. You had the biggest blondest curls that ever existed. I cried at your first hair cut. You had and still do the most unique blue eyes, my eyes. My great grandaddy's eyes. You are the spitting image of my dad. And you have a gentle quiet about you like your Big Paw Paw. You were the first boy. And on one side, the only boy. You were born with a forgiving heart. The rarest of them all. You have always done things in your own time and your own way, taking it all in.
You didn't talk until you were three and a half. You didn't have to. As much as your sister could manage to get her way using you as the ruse, she was never going to let you do without anything. You didn't have to speak. She knew what you wanted with just a look. We worried and lost sleep for months. We took you to speech therapy and you happily played with all the Legos. Your hearing was fine. You were fine. And the one day she busted out that echoing megaphone, you showed us you knew all along. You were just waiting for the right time. Your own time. That has been true for you in every area, every stage of your life. You have accomplished more than I could have ever dreamed for you. You did it without complaining, you made your dreams a reality and so much more. Certainly this road was nothing like I dreamed it would be. But maybe it's everything we needed. Maybe it's what got us here. And maybe that's really ok. In two short weeks you will be done with high school. My youngest. My baby. I can't hardly wrap my mind around it, yet somehow, it's exactly the right time. You were the best unexpected gift I never knew I needed. Yet God did. He gave you to me at just the right moment. I am so very proud of your accomplishments. So very proud of who you are and everything you will become. I love you. Thankful.