Today is a momentous day for my youngest Son. Today, around 4:24  in the morning, Sterling turned 16 years old. I know that we all wait for that age. For some reason, we seem to think that there’s something magical about the number 16. Maybe it’s because we get our drivers license at that age. I’m not really sure. I do know, that at 16 years old, Sterling seems to be more mature than either his sister or his brother were at that age. I think, he’s been waiting longer to be 16 then the others did. Not in age, or years, but in his mind.

Sterling has always been the baby. He has always been the one that you felt like you had to protect. However, he was also always the one that if something was going to happen, it happened to him. Sterling was the first child of mine to have a blackeye. And, he didn’t stop with just one. Sterling was the only one of my children who had to have tubes put in his ears.  So, when he was just a little guy he was the first one of my children to have an operation. Sterling was and still is a daredevil, even though if somethings going to happen it’s going to happen to Sterling. Sterling believes in taking chances, and he believes and living life to the full list every day   Sterling is, and always has been, the child of mine that has the biggest heart. He is the one that cares the most about the feelings of other people, and on the other  side he is the one that can be hurt the most by words that people don’t mean.  People that know him, love him. And people that don’t know him, want to get to know him. I for one, want to be more like him. He is kind, and loyal, and loving, and giving, dependable, and he’s also the kind of guy that you want in a fight. He is the first one that will defend someone. He is also the first one to get in there and get a job done.

Since he did have to have surgery on his ears when he was young, there was a long time when people couldn’t understand the words that Sterling was saying. Since he was just learning how to talk, and he had ear  issues, he heard everything as if he was hearing it underwater. So, he learn to speak that way. Of course his brother and I were the only ones that really understood what he was saying. So, for a long time it was just Sterling and I that would do things. Sterling was my snuggle buddy, and has always been my adventure buddy. I guess maybe because he and I have always been together. We’ve always done things together. Because he was either too little to go, Or he just didn’t want to he’s always kind of been with me. Now, don’t get me wrong, he and his dad do all kinds of things together. That’s the great thing about Sterling he spreads his attention around, so that everyone gets to spend time with him. But, for a long time I had him, close to me pretty much all the time.  I think that’s what makes this birthday so bittersweet.

I can see the path that my son is charting for himself. His first goal, is to join the Air Force. The boy wants to fly jets. Eventually someday, he’d like to have a farm somewhere in Tennessee. And even though he says he’s going to build a house for me somewhere on his property, I can see him slipping away into adulthood. Luckily for me, I get to hold on just a Little bit longer. Luckily for me, he still wants to do things with his mom. Well he wants to do things with his dad as well, but for the purposes of this post, we’re talking about the mom. LOL.  

16 years seems like it should be a really long time. And I guess it depends on your perspective. For me, looking back, 16 years has flashed by like the blink of an eye. For him, I’m sure 16 years has taken a lifetime to pass. In those 16 years that we have just come through, we have packed so many memories, and adventures, and I just can’t wait to see what the next 16 years will bring. I know they’ll be different, and I know my place in them, will still be important, but not quite so central. But, I also know my son, and I know that he will always have time for his mother, no matter how how old she gets. I know one thing for absolute sure, my life has been so much better because Sterling has been a part of it. I have been blessed to have been given the job of raising him this far. Actually, I’ve been blessed with all of my children. A Mom couldn’t ask for better kids.  Sometimes they can be trying, and sometimes they have broken my heart, but overall it has been the greatest pleasure in the world for me to be their mother.  As I head off to work this morning, I have the privilege of knowing that I have done three great things in my life. I was a part of three miracles. And I get to see the amazing things that they will do with their lives.

Happy birthday Sterling! I love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.

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