Today we're celebrating our youngest child turning 15.
Seems like just yesterday that we were signing him up for preschool.
He had kind of a bad day at school because he was teased for being small for his age; truth is that, at barely 5 feet tall, he does look like somebody's fun little brother. Things got better when his sister called, after which John and I celebrated with him at his favorite restaurant and he got sopapillas as his birthday cake.
The other and clearly more important truth is that our littlest Gruener is a bright light. He's a happy young man who whistles and hums when he doesn't know anyone's listening. He wakes up easily and stays up until he's gotten his day's work done. He works hard and will be the first to ask us to honor and respect his pace. He's forging his own way in this world with a smile on his face and happiness in his heart. He's a sensitive, inquisitive boy whose English teacher tells me keeps her in stitches.
We probably don't tell him enough that we love him.
And that we're proud of him, no matter what.
And tonight, after a difficult day because our town lost one of our teens to a terrible car accident, I'm reminded that life is short and that we need to appreciate every moment that we get to spend with our loved ones. Hug them and keep them close by. Let them know that you love them and that you're in their corner.
Birthday blessings, Joshua.