It is your 17th birthday and I can hardly believe it. The day you were born you changed my life forever and someday, Lord willing, you will hold your own child for the first time and know how wildly and completely I love you. I was a young mother and in many ways I have grown up along with you. I have stumbled and fallen many times over the years, not always parenting as well as I wanted to, with you suffering for my mistakes. That is my deepest regret. But God has been good to us and I am so thankful that I am your mom.
It’s been the greatest gift to mother you for 17 years, watching you grow from the little boy who was going to sleep with me every day of his life, into the young man who is nearly ready to face the world with character, faith, and strength I never possessed at your age. For as long I can can recall people have spoken of the dreaded teenage years, of the troubles and heartache that come with raising teenagers. Have I ever told you that it is fun to be your mother during these years? I am really enjoying mothering you at this stage in life. Granted, it would be a lot more enjoyable if you would actually just do the dishes without it being such a point of contention every single day, but I know that in the grand scheme of things the dishes are a small battle. I see your character and I know that you are nearly a man. I know that I will have confidence in you and your ability to handle whatever life throws your way when you leave our home for your next. God has knit your heart to his, and you can trust him. Continue in your passion to live for his glory, to serve others with love, and to pursue the big visions he has planted within your heart. I am so thankful for the way he has brought you and Elizabeth together. You are good for each other and I love her dearly. I am confident, with you, that she is God’s best for you. I pray you will continue to love each other, learn and grow together, and that someday all of your biggest dreams and plans for life together will come true.
I love you so very much. I am so, so proud of the man you are becoming. I love that you spend time laying on my bed sharing songs for Elizabeth, plans for great adventures, dreams for your future, completely unrealistic inventions, plans for how to prank Josh, blueprints you draw up, business plans, and your very impressive muscles…
It is with confidence that I can trust you to do jobs for others, even when they think you’re too young or incapable. I know you work like a man and I am thankful for that. Someday your capable hands will build and tend your home, they will love and protect your wife, they will feed your family, they will continue to help you serve your friends and neighbors, and they will guide and nurture your children. I hope God lets me be here for all of that – you will be a wonderful husband and father someday.
You are fun, Nicolas. You make me laugh all the time! I’m so thankful that I get to spend every day (well, every day your aren’t with the Hossinks) with you. I like you. Of course I love you, but I really like you too! You are a good friend to others. You are kind. You are generous. You are outgoing. You are compassionate. You are adventurous. Your friends are lucky to have you as a friend.
I hope you had a great day at school today. I am looking forward to seeing you in half an hour and hearing all about your first meeting with the Principal’s Leadership Team. I love that you wore a tie. I hope you had enough cake to share with everyone, because I know you and you would have wanted to have enough for every person you talked to today.
I’m looking forward to the little time I have left with you at home. These days are slipping fast and I know you’re almost grown. It’s going to be so hard on my heart when you walk out of this house someday, but I know I’ll be confident in YOU when that day comes. That is a comfort.
I’m so proud of you, Nicolas. I’m so thankful for the last 17 years. I am excited for your future and for all that God has done in you! It’s the biggest blessing of all to be your mother.
I love you so much. I was the first person in this world to look at you and love you. You are my precious son. It is my prayer that God pours out his blessings on you and continues to draw you near to him.
Happy Birthday, Pickle. I love you more than life.
Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!