My baby is 17 years old today. I swear when I tucked him in just yesterday he was still my baby boy, but when the sun rose again today he stood before me, almost a man. He still smiles at me with the same precious grin, his eyes still twinkle the way they always have, and when he puts his arms around me, they still wrap around my heart. It’s different now though, before, it felt like I was holding him, now it seems he’s holding me.
I still look at him and see the little man he used to be, I’m sure I always will, but I also see the young man he has become. He is smart and kind, gentle and generous. He fills me with pride and joy and the purest of love.
He is his own person, unique and courageous, forging his own path rather than following one well-worn by others. His wears his faith for all to see, he leads instead of follows, and he takes every step with confidence.
He’s always been the baby brother, but he somehow knew in his earliest years he would sometimes have to gently guide his older brothers every now and then. He learned patience and compassion before he could understand the concepts of them. His brothers taught him many things while he was unknowingly teaching them. I know it isn’t easy to have siblings with special needs, but he embraced the role with grace and love.
I respect the young man he has grown to be, I admire him. I know there will come a tomorrow when I awake to the simple silence of an empty home, so today, I will cherish the fullness it still holds.
Crystal R. Cook