When I look at old pictures of my first born, I think of the first 5 years of his life. When I found out that I was pregnant with a boy, I got a little scared. I didn’t know much about boys. We only had girls in my family. So I started talking to other moms of boys and asked, “What’s it like to be the mother of a boy?” Turns out, it’s great! Taylor was my little buddy, spending all day every day tagging along with me. He was my only child for 5 years.
Around age 3 he jumped ship and wanted to spend as much time with his Dad as possible. One day I was standing in the kitchen making dinner while my husband was down in the basement working on the furnace. Taylor bolted behind me carrying his little plastic tool box. “What are you doing, Taylor?” I asked as he headed towards the basement door.
In the most excited tone of voice he announced, “I’m gettin’ mad with my dad!” And then I knew what was going on downstairs. I heard big, manly-tool clunks and little, plastic tool tinks and I knew that Taylor was imitating Josh blow for blow with his little plastic hammer. He was also imitating more than the motions, he was learning how to be a man. How to be responsible. How to be a provider. How to try his hardest and do his best. How to be self controlled. How to be strong. How to love God and his family too.
Model Train Day at Augustana Senior Housing with Auntie.
When Taylor was around Kindergarten age, my sister was working at a Senior Housing Facility. In the evenings she taught ceramics classes. One night a week, Taylor and I would go to ceramics with the old people. They just adored him! (I’ve always called Taylor an “Old Lady Magnet” because as a baby he would make flirty faces at the Grandmas in the grocery store.) At ceramics class he would sit perched on a stool and would paint away on his projects while the old folks asked him questions and chatted with him. One guy road a Segway around the campus. Taylor was so impressed with that. So one time the man let Taylor stand with him and they road down the hall together. Taylor still talks about that! When we moved away, the ceramics class all signed a special plate that they painted for him. He still has that.
Driving Grandpa’s gator
Taylor has always been fascinated by anything transportation related. Since the age of 3 when he learned that you have to be 16 in order to drive a car, Taylor has been counting down the years. He went through a long Thomas the Tank Engine phase (which I absolutely loved!). He collected Hot Wheels cars and spent hours lining them up in rows like a parking lot. He learned to drive “the gator,” which is like a golf cart for lawn work, at his Grandparents’ cabin. He has begged to drive anything since he could talk! And now the time has come. He’s going home to Minnesota in a few weeks to take Drivers’ Ed and get his permit. He’s finally going to drive… legally.
I’m really proud of Taylor. I like the person he’s becoming. I’m proud that he’s MY boy… OUR boy. He’s been a wonderful kid and he’s turning into an amazing young man. Everyone who knows him feels that he’s a uniquely sensitive kid with a kind heart and a mature thoughtfulness about him. I have had so many of his teachers stop me in the hall at school to tell me how much they enjoy having Taylor in their class. He makes an impression. He’s a godly young man.
Happy 16th birthday Boy! We love you and are so excited for the independence you are growing into. The future looks wide open for you! Spread your wings and fly!