Sweet Dozen

Dearest Noah,

It's your 12th birthday! It's late- 11:20 pm- almost not your birthday. But I couldn't let the day end without writing your birthday letter. 

What a joy it's been to be your mom for the past 12 years. You were the sweetest baby and an easy one too (exept for the ear infections!). You slept well, you ate well, you grew well. You were a serious baby, and in some ways, you are a serious pre-teen today. But when you're with the people who know you best, you're funny, silly and full of mischief. You are serious and quiet in crowds and with people you don't know well, so much so that they are surprised when you speak up. But when you do speak up, it's witty or insightful or interesting what you have to say. I always tell people, "Noah doesn't say much, but when he does speak, you shoud listen." I love that about you. I love when your teachers at a church tell me how insightful your answers are. Keep that up, son. Keep observing, learning, and growing. And try to be more bold! What you have to say is important, so speak up! 

In the past year, you have had some big and awesome changes in your life. The most important was your baptism last March. Though you gave your life to Christ in the summer, it took a while for you to work up the courage to face the entire congregation for baptism. Dad and I were so proud of you that day, more than I know how to even say. Watching you make public what Christ had done in your life, knowing how much you don't like to be the center of attention, it was encouraging, challenging and just perfect. Facing your fears for the glory of Christ. What a day it was. 

You also embarked on a new hobby. Last year, you saved up your money to buy your own guitar and you started guitar lessons. You have really enjoyed it. You still hate attention, and won't really play for us, but when I sneak a peek during your lessons, I see the happiness on your face and your interest in what Nate is teaching you. I love it. 

You went to your first dance, where, I'm told, you did not dance at all or really talk to anyone but Caleb and Elizabeth. We're working on that. But best memory- teaching you to slow dance in the kitchen before sending you off. It was a big step just for you to go to the dance. Maybe next time, you'll find your way to the dance floor or into a converstation! 

You've also really started to enjoy reading (thank you Ranger's Apprentice and John Flanagan!). Finally! :) You love to be outside and hiking and climbing and disc golf and football and nerf wars and whatever else you and your brothers come up with to do. The trip to Puerto Rico was right up your alley, for sure. You wear a baseball cap at all times. I think you would wear it to sleep if we let you. Speaking of sleep, you are my non-morning person buddy. Waking you up is like trying to wake the dead sometimes! I love that we have that in common. 

Noah- I love being your mom. You are gentle and sweet, kind and humble. I love watching you love others. I am so proud of the young man that God is molding you into. Keep learning and growing, keep seeking Him and doing hard things for Him. Next year, you'll be a teenager. A lot is going to change in next few years, but one thing will never change- the love of God for you and the love we have for you. I pray you always remember that. On good days, on hard days, on sweet days and bitter ones- God loves you and we love you. 

Happy Birthday, Noah! We love you, no matter what, forever and ever. 


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