Day 41: Nate’s Birthday Celebration at Longhorn Steakhouse

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Today’s first was all about celebrating! My son, Nathanael, turned 33 today. My family is all about honoring the one who is having a birthday, so 13 of us gathered to eat a leisurely dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse. This was another first for me. Longhorn Steakhouse has been in Joplin more than a year and I’ve been overdue for a visit. What a happy reason for combining two firsts.

People say that kids grow up so fast. It is true. How can it be that this handsome young man, who is a parent now himself, is the little boy who used to climb everything, preferred to hop and run rather than walk, and once headed outside wearing only a loin cloth he had made himself? Imaginative and creative, this boy could make anything out of cardboard, hot glue and paint, sketch a picture of anything he saw, and play the piano and guitar. I turned around a couple of times, it seems, and the boy had become the man.

Nate’s desire, from the age of eight, was to be a police officer. That can put fear in a mother’s heart. And yet his father and I encouraged him to pursue his dream, and he did. He has been a police officer for 9 years, and a fine, outstanding officer he is. I’m proud of his accomplishments and at peace with his chosen profession. I look forward to joining him on patrol soon, and sharing about that in a future blog post.

We had a wonderful dinner this evening at Longhorn Steakhouse. The food was great, the conversations flowed easily around the long table, and laughter rang out often. Celebration is one of the highest forms of gratitude. We had much to be grateful for tonight. Happy birthday, Son! Long life, joy and happiness be yours.

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