Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Spencer!

My firstborn child is 20 today.  Yikes!

When this kid was less than one week old, he could lift his head off my shoulder and look around. In the literary world, this is called foreshadowing. In the parenting world, this should have been a clue to his parents that he would be one strong-willed child. He ALWAYS wanted to do things his way, which has made for some very interesting parenting moments. Potty training on our schedule? Um, no. Save money for a rainy day? Not a chance. Make it home by curfew? Rarely.

By the time he was 2, the depth of his questions had surpassed my ability to answer them.  The TV remote was his favorite toy--he completely took it apart and put it back together.  And from the moment we turned his carseat around to face forward, this kid wanted to drive.  To this day, he can put more miles on a vehicle in a shorter amount of time than any person I have ever known (including truck drivers)!  Parenting this boy has always been an adventure.

Spencer is hilariously funny, deeply opinionated, extremely bright, and has the ability to make any dog fall in love with him.  He has a definite firstborn sense of right and wrong.  He is a great older brother.  He is a teddy bear on the inside (but that's a secret, so please don't tell anyone).  He has been written off by several people during his young life, and that's pretty sad.  This kid is worth getting to know.

Except for my tailbone (which he broke during birth) and some furniture and keepsakes he has accidentally broken or set on fire, he's pretty much been a delight to have around.  We were not surprised when he informed us he had joined the Army Reserves, and we have watched with pride (and some tears) as he graduated from Basic Combat Training, then his Advanced Individual Training, and most recently as we sent him off on a military mssion to Haiti (which was called back by our government).  Spencer has always believed we enjoy freedom in this country because of the sacrifices of others, and he has always felt he wanted to do his part.  Believe me, this is the guy you want defending your freedom, even if you don't appreciate it.

We will again stand with pride and tears as he gets ready to depart for Afghanistan sometime within the next year.  We will go through his room and find dishes that didn't make it down to the kitchen, chocolate kiss wrappers from when he stole the whole candy jar (nearly every time it has candy in it), and some socks that no amount of bleach will ever bring back to white.  We will anxiously await his letters, phone calls, or text messages.  I will bake and send to him The World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I will pray for him daily, as I do now, and as my friends will also do--they love him, too.

Spencer, my son, being your mom is one of my favorite things in life.  Thanks for gracing us with your presence and making us proud.  Spencer Duncan is Mommy's little pumpkin.  And I love you so.