Surrender 41: Happy Birthday Son

Today is my son’s birthday. I wished him a fun filled day this morning. He and his lovely wife both had the day off, and got to spend it together. As I’ve moved through my day, I’ve thought of Nate, allowing memories to rise, one after the other. This boy, now a man, has been such a joy. As a youngster, his antics made me laugh. Now grown, he continues to make me smile, and fills my heart with pride and love. 


It’s been a big year for Nate, although perhaps all years are such. Although Nate and Megan had a quiet private wedding ceremony in November of 2014, last May they publicly proclaimed their love for each other, and joined their families together. What a joyous celebration it was!


In late July Nate, along with his sisters, told his grandfather good bye. I’m so grateful that there was time for the children and their sweeties to visit with Papa Bob at the hospital. Even as his health was failing, and his memory waned, Papa proudly told every nurse who stopped by about his grandkids. Nate was a quiet presence during that challenging time. At the memorial service he joined his dad in carrying his Papa’s casket to its resting place. 

My son is strong, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Although he doesn’t seek attention, he’s a leader of others, by example rather than coercion. He thinks of others, offers help and encouragement, takes responsibility seriously. He accepted a promotion to Sergeant in his police department last fall, after careful consideration. I had the honor of being present as he received his new badge and stripes. 


Nate is not only a wonderful son, he is also a fun and loving brother, being the middle child between two sisters. Nothing brings me greater joy than watching my kids interact as adults. They laugh and chat and have each other’s backs. As the boy, Nate has always been protective of his sisters. But make no mistake! Elissa and Adriel are just as fierce about their brother. 
 Picture collage by Megan, chronicling last night’s birthday celebration.  

And this handsome young man is an exceptional husband to Megan and father to Aubrey, Oliver and Joey. It makes my heart sing to watch my son with his family…the tenderness he expresses to his wife…the playful way he interacts with the kids. He may not be fully aware of how precious the gift of his presence is, however, he is creating memories with those growing children. And more than that, he is impacting those young lives in ways that will stay with them and guide them as they grow into adults. 


I’m very proud of the man my son has matured into. He is loyal, faithful, intuitive, conscientious, just. He’s also witty, fun-loving, creative, musical and artistic. For Halloween last October, me made his storm trooper costume, other than the helmet and boots, which he purchased. He made it because he enjoyed the creative process and the challenge. 

I watched my son last year at the Maple Leaf Parade, tall and straight-backed in his uniform, as he prepared to lead off the event. Unbeknownst to him, I snapped pics as he spoke with the Police Chief and then stood at attention. He knows who he is and he’s comfortable within his own skin. 

I remember as a toddler, Nate sat in his high chair at the dining table, as I went through all of our relatives with Elissa, explaining how everyone was related and connected in our family. He listened intently, a two year old trying to follow along. He brightened up as I finished, and added, “And me’s Nathanael, right?” Yes, son, yes you are. And you are so very good at being Nathanael…Nate. You inspire me. His name means “gift of God”, and he truly is. Happy birthday Son. I love you very much! 


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