by Lisa Douglas

Originally, we’d planned to leave somewhat early today to visit my in-laws and celebrate his eleventh birthday at his grandparents house in Dallas. Instead, we decided to keep it low key, stay home at least another day, and celebrate by hanging out and playing with our Christmas presents some more. He didn’t mind this idea at all.

He woke up this morning and came downstairs to be greeted by most of us, already awake, wishing him a “Happy Birthday!” This made his newly eleven-year-old heart very happy and satisfied. He spent the day playing with friends, outside, using his new Nerf guns, playing football with his new football gloves, wearing his new clothes from Christmas, laughing, living, happy.

He asked if he could run with me today. For his birthday. Just like we always run, he rides his bike alongside me, but he specifically asked to do it today, with me, for his birthday.

As we ran, he told me how this was his “best birthday ever.” How everyone has said “Happy Birthday” to him, and how special it is, even if we didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

He’s that type of kid, the one that finds the beautiful in everything, even the little, “insignificant” things. He’s the child that appreciates the thought, and not just the gift. The one who loves actions more than words, and one who makes me very proud to be his mother.

Today, he’s celebrating eleven years on this Earth.

As his dad is in the kitchen, proudly preparing from-scratch cake with which I will hand-decorate a Pittsburgh Steelers symbol on later, I am here, reminiscing looking at his pictures, prouder than I’ve ever been at the young man he’s becoming.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful boy.

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