Home birthday ode to my 23-year-old boy

ode to my 23-year-old boy

by Shawni

I don’t want to take away attention from the last post, but I have to also get this post in today because it’s my only boy’s birthday. And this blog is where I write my birthday cards to my children.

When Max was a little toddler we had this ritual where we would ask, “How big are you?” and he would throw his arms in the air and we’d all say, “SOOO BIG!”

I’m not sure how that came about, but I find it unfathomable to believe how much that “sooooo big” has come true, as that little boy has grown to tower over us all, and turned TWENTY-THREE today.

But even more than his height, he has grown to love, to learn, to stay so humble despite having so much, in my opinion, to brag about. He takes himself lightly.

He has the best, gigantic smile that lights up his whole face.

He is stubborn. He is smart. He is good to the core. And he puts up with his mom smothering him with love.

Max has a great sense of style:

Ha!

He isn’t afraid of doing hard/scary things. Ok, never mind, there are things that scare him for sure, but he will DO them, and learn from them too. These pictures are from when he went to live in China the summer before his junior year of high school (he stayed with our good friends there to do a summer internship):

Loved that text up there in the middle from when he was so darn homesick. But man alive he sure learned a lot that summer.

Little did he know we’d be turning around and living there again for a semester of his senior year, but he did it in style:

I love to look back and see the journeys where life has taken this boy. From working really hard on school projects to getting accepted at a great college:

Little did he know when our family stood, sweating buckets on the Great Wall of China, that he’d be back there two more times:

…and that he would learn to use that language he was quick to pick up on during his two years of service as a missionary in Taiwan:

…and go back to live and work there some day with his wife:

Little did he know when he started a little volleyball club in junior high that he’d be playing on the D1 BYU volleyball team some day:

Little could he have envisioned when he got baptized all those years ago that he would get to baptize his little sister…in a oversized bathtub filled with cold water in China:

Little did he know when he asked a cute new girl to go on a little road trip to Bear Lake…

…that she would become his wife:

Well, actually I think he did have an inkling of a feeling that one would happen…

Little did he know when he was participating in the temple “cultural celebration” all those years ago (see him in blue in the middle down there?):

…that he would be running with this beautiful girl to get married there on a sunny December day:

Oh, the journeys life takes you!

Little did WE know, all those years ago when he made us parents for the first time, that he would be the best “oldest child” ever…

…that he would be able to “hang” so beautifully well with all those sisters we would give him.

That he would be such a hard worker:

That he would chose the best wife ever:

Lots of things we didn’t know, but one thing his mother did know, all those years ago when he clung close to her:

…is that she would wish she could hold on to him forever and ever.

Yet how beautiful it would be to watch him head out on his own to fly.

That, my friends, is where twenty-three years can take you.

I am so grateful for this kid, my heart is wrapped around him more than he’ll ever know, until maybe one day when he has a chocolate-eyed, stubborn, loving, smart, humble, kind boy of his own.

Love you forever and ever Maxwell David, and couldn’t be more grateful God let me be your mama.

You may also like

11 comments

TGregory June 4, 2020 - 8:27 am

Seeing your love for Max makes me so excited. We’re just months away from having girls #3&4, and I only have one son (& we’re done after the twins). A mother’s love for her son runs deep!

Reply
Aly June 4, 2020 - 9:45 am

❤️

Reply
Gwen Rich June 4, 2020 - 9:52 am

That is a beautiful post !

Reply
Sarah June 4, 2020 - 11:53 am

Brought tears to my eyes as I think of my own little 8 year old boy (surrounded by sisters) and how fast he is growing up on me.

Reply
Jessica Nelson June 4, 2020 - 2:16 pm

I love that bond!!! Thank you for so eloquently expressing it! I’m reading to pass the time today while in labor with my own son, so this was particularly poignant. 🥰

Reply
Sherrie June 4, 2020 - 8:22 pm

How sweet is that comment up above…about to have her own son! Makes me cry thinking of that actually bc raising my boys has been my greatest joy!! Your recent post about your daughters makes that look pretty fantastic too. ❤️

Reply
Heidi June 4, 2020 - 9:23 pm

I wonder if the ‘ soooo big’ was a British thing you picked up, because we say that with our kids!

Reply
Mom June 6, 2020 - 12:21 pm

Oh how we love this boy! What a stellar example of strength and goodness for his 30 younger cousins! He has been a joy since day one! ❤️❤️❤️

Reply
Lissa June 8, 2020 - 9:09 am

Such a beautiful post. I hope you know how much you build up his marriage over and over again with your love for his wife. Your praise of of her and his choice is delightful and something I’ve learned from you.

Reply
Tanya H June 9, 2020 - 11:14 pm

Not the first time this post has made me cry. This time it matches up with my only boy having just graduated from high school and I’m trying so hard to let him fly…..

Reply
Karen June 14, 2020 - 3:15 pm

“So big” was a tradition in our family, too. I always thought it was from the novel by Edna Ferber, So Big.

Reply

Leave a Reply to Jessica Nelson Cancel Reply

UA-15801285-2