Today this boy becomes a teenager:…without me by his side.

He’s up at scout camp.

How could he dare leave us on this big day?

He didn’t seem too sad about it when I dropped him off to join all his friends for a week:In fact, he was quite delighted. But my heart feels empty without him around.

Can I just say how much I adore this boy?

He is such a good kid.
Here’s my list of 13 things I love about him to celebrate the big 13:

1) Max is such a good brother.He’s so mellow putting up with all these girls surrounding him with their drama. But not only does he “put up” with them, he adores them. He genuinely likes to hang out with them. His face lights up when he sees them and it makes my face light up too.

2) Max is a good babysitter. I’m so thankful for that!

3) He’s a good baker. He makes a mean chocolate chip cookie. He laughed when I got him a cookie recipe book for Easter but he actually likes it.

4) He makes good decisions. He decided all by himself to eat more healthy and inspired me to go off sugar for a week.

5) When Max sets his mind to something, he does it. (I wish he’d set his mind to always flush his toilet, though.)

6) He’s thankful. I’ve never heard a kid say “thank you” so many multiple times for things. (This example makes our girls thankful too, and I’m thankful as can be for that.)

7) Max gets into sports. He loves to watch them with Dave and he gets SO into complaining about the ref. calls and talking to the tv (takes after his Dad).

8) After years of being scared to death of talking to adults, he’s suddenly made up his mind to speak up. I love it.

9) Max is a hard worker. He mows our lawn like nobody’s business and I love how when he decided he wanted to play football for the first time this year he worked so darn hard at it.10) Max is usually the first one to jump in and help with jobs I ask the kids to do around the house. For example, the rule around here is that we empty the dishwasher together, but most of the time it seems like it’s just Max and me unloading. I kinda like it.

He’s also quick to do whatever else I ask him to do. I must say this hasn’t always been the case, but seriously, the second I ask him to empty a trash can or run something upstairs for me it’s done without all the whining and complaining I get from my other kids…not to mention any names…

11) I love how he will still do my hair while I read to him.

12) I love how he still wants to sit by me at church and he’ll give me Indian burns if I ask (I love Indian burns).

13) Max is not a big talker, but I love his big, sincere smile that talks for him when it comes out.

Since we don’t get to be with him on the big day Dave’s heading up today to bring him some little things and some love from us:
…and some birthday doughnuts for everyone else.

But the real fun will come next week when we celebrate with his first boy/girl party…whoo hoo!

Happy Birthday, Max.

I love you with all my heart.

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  1. What a sweet boy! He's so handsome, doesn't it just make your heart swell up with pride when your child is a good person? Sounds like you have done a great job with him.

  2. Happy happy birthday Max! I seriously can't believe that it's been 13 years since I missed a train to the airport then had to beg a ride from a random stranger so I could make it to my plane on time so I could get from Boston to DC and come meet my first little nephew. I was SO anxious to get there and hold that little guy! I remember walking into your apartment and finding you asleep on the couch with Max sleeping on your chest and feeling the most intense sense of gladness for you (since having your own baby had been the desire of your heart your entire life). I remember holding sweet little Max and praying that I'd get to my wish to be a mother as well before it got too late! Little did I know how fully my wish would be fulfilled – that I'd end up with 5 kids just a few years later!

  3. We love Max. He is a great big boy or little man. I am looking forward to pulling him on skis and wakeboards and body whomping.
    That Max is a great example to all of his friends…I am sure.

  4. I love the speaking to adults things…hoping someone here grows into that soon. And the helping without complaining??? How awesome is that.
    Welcome to teenagerhood parenting. It's awesome. (Especially with a son.)

  5. We love our girls, yes, no question about that, but our boys….WE LOVE OUR BOYS! My 14 year old Eric is exactly the same. Luckily he has two brothers to even out the drama with.
    Just curious Shawni… you have a camera with you at all times? I was reading a past post on your blog where Lucy threw a parking lot tantrum at one of your girl's tennis lessons and she was laying on the pavement. I was just thinking…."Man, she must carry a camera around with her all the time." How else could you get those shots? Don't people wonder what the heck you're doing taking pictures of this girl on the pavement? I'm sure it's not hilarious when you're the one having to deal with it, but that girl cracks me up.

  6. Dang… I wish I would have read this, this morning! Scott and I were going to try and go up today and surprise Cooper, but it didn't work out! I should have had Dave take Cooper a treat! darn.

    Happy Birthday Max! What great boys.. I am so glad they are friends.
    xoxo, Tracey

  7. He sounds (and looks) like a terrific guy! But I totally laughed at loud on #6. I have 3 boys ages 3-9 and that is my life story! I even found there baby sister PLAYING in the unflushed (thankfully only pee!) toilet yesterday.


  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAX! Thirteen! That's just amazing! We can't wait to have you doing all the good stuff your mom talks about at the lake. Will you give me an Indian burn? I forgot all about those.

    You'll probably never forget that you became a teenager in the woods!

    Love you forever!

  9. Saren's comment reminded me that I was in an absolute panic on that airplane after your mom called to say she was in labor. I thought I'd NEVER make it to the Fairfax hospital in time to see you pop into the world…but I did! You were spectacular! What a joy you have been to us all of your life. Thanks for being such a splendid big brother and outstanding example for all our other grandchildren as well as being the leader of "The Old Faithfuls"! You are THE BEST!

  10. Your boy is a rare treasure, that's for sure! Glad you see that and you enjoy and appreciate his great character!!! HAppy 13th Max!

  11. I remember when he was a cute little guy misbehaving at the FHE group exchange. Now he's so handsome and mature looking! Happy birthday Max!

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