Today our oldest son turns 15.
The 15th birthday is a big deal in South America. We wish we could have done something with his buds back at home today but God planned for us to be in Dallas, Texas on this special day.
Garrett has always been super laid back in just about every aspect of his life (except being late for soccer practice or an Inter game.....then he turns into Rain Man) and he's been like that about this birthday. I think we've been more worked up about him not getting to celebrate with his best friends than he's been. He's understood the mad rush that we had to do to get everything ready for our trip to the states and took it all in stride.
Anyway, we continue our tradition of allowing the birthday child to pick the day's activities. Here is what he has come up with so far for today:
1) Work out with me. (He wants to get stronger for soccer and I told him my PT background has been dormant long enough. We'll work out together on this furlough and he wanted to start today.)
2) Go eat doughnuts. (Always important to refuel with good/healthy food after a tough workout)
3) Come back and open presents.
4) Go bowling. (Not much bowling going on in Brasil. It exists but if we went to those places we would pay a fortune.)
5) Go eat a good hamburger, fries and milkshake. (More important refueling after stated workout.)
6) Go to the FC Dallas (professional soccer team) game tonight. (We love soccer.)
Jennifer, our friend in whose house we are staying this week, gave us good places to go for all the above.
So being in a super cool big city has helped to ease the pain of not being home with his buds. Especially when you can find tons of junk food to eat that we don't have in Brasil. I mean, come on, he is 15.
As is our tradition on special days we allow the family to share some stuff about the birthday person:
Giovanni (translated by his mom): " Garrett, thanks for taking care of me and especially for playing with me. I LOVE to play cars with you. You are an awesome big brother. I wuv you."
Anderson: "He is a Colorado doente. He plays soccer VERY good. He is younger than he looks. Sometimes he loses his kooks (mind). He's a very nice brother but sometimes he bugs me but he's still important to me no matter what."
Carys: "He is so cool and awesome. I love to play and wrestle with him."
Ansley: "I miss you Garrett and I know you are having tons of fun!! Eat a couple of donuts for me!! By the way... I am still taller than you. happy birthday!!
Girlfriend: "Garrett, I could not ask for a better son than you. I love you so much and am so proud of you in every way. I know that God is going to bless you and that you will be a great example for a lot of people in your life. And.... you give the BEST foot massages in the world (come to think of it.... isn't it getting about time for another one of those???) "
Me: "I remember going to the hospital for your birth and wanting another girl. From the day we got married mom and I always wanted lots of kids. Before you, all I knew were girls and I loved it. I remember, after Bronwyn and Ansley were born, only wanting 2-3 more girls.....and then you showed up. All Boy!! My little chubby baby who loved to put on the Batman cape and run around buck naked in the house. My sports buddy who likes any kind of sports (to watch and play). My army guy "set up" man. My wrestling buddy (even though you still CAN NOT take me down). My "want to read everything all the time on the internet about Inter" soul mate. My man that does all the "guy stuff" with me. I still love having girls and always will but God showed me, through you, how much more stuff he had planned for me through having boys and girls. I love that we do all the guy stuff together but there are things about you that are way more important than those things. You are almost as big as me now and have become my co-protector of the girls in our house. You protect your mom and sisters and I love that. I love your laid backness. That quality will serve you well in life. I love that you've always been compassionate and felt for those in need. I love that you've taught me way more about the importance of persistent and consistent prayer than I could ever have taught you. You have been my prayer role model. Thank you! Our family is very blessed to have you in it. I'm glad God gave me boys and that you are the example to the other little men in our house."