We are now a house with two teenagers — and in many ways, I couldn’t love it more. Ben is the boy sandwiched between two girls, many days wishing he had a brother. In the past year, I’ve seen the lives of Cate and Ben overlap more with friends and basketball. Overlapping friends can be hard between siblings, but it can also be a sweet spot.
Ben loves playing soccer and basketball and talking about those things with his friends. He prefers school assignments with concrete answers. He likes to doodle and read non-fiction books. He has had to work hard to quiet some anxieties, expectations, and realities — especially at school. But I can look at his life and see emotional and spiritual growth, and I’m so thankful to get a glimpse at what God is doing in him and through him. He’s braver than he realizes and funnier than I probably admit to him!
With a Thanksgiving week birthday, he’s adamant about waiting until after that holiday to move on to anything about Christmas. Playing Christmas music on the way home from our Thanksgiving trip was pushing it for him.
We celebrated Ben’s birthday with a trip to Memphis for a Grizzlies game, a hotel stay, and a Bass Pro Shop outing. (And with lunch and brownies at Gran-Gran’s house the weekend before, Texas Roadhouse on our way to Indiana for Thanksgiving, and more brownies with our Thanksgiving meal at my sister’s house!) We brought three of his friends along. I’m thankful for the friends God has given him, even when finding his place is sometimes a challenge. He’s quick to friend people and sees the needs around him.
We also got in some good cousin time with a couple of fun days at my sister’s house. Ben loves being around her two boys. They got him an Indiana sweatshirt, which was a well-timed gift because we went to an IU basketball game on Friday. We were glad we got to experience a game at Assembly Hall!
This definitely seemed like the right year to do something different for your birthday. I’m thankful I came up with an idea you were excited about! What fun memories we made! You’ve often challenged me as a mom and person, but I’m thankful for all we’ve walked through together. The longer we’re at this mom-son thing, the more I see our similarities as people. I see you and love you and am blessed to be your mom.
Here’s to the teenage years, bedtime conversations, and lots of Haribo Peach Gummies and Sour Patch Kids.
I share more of Ben’s story in my book “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family,” which is on sale (!!!) right now on Amazon. Look back on my boy’s life: 1 year old. 2 years old. 3 years old. 4 years old. 5 years old. 6 years old. 7 years old. 8 years old. 9 years old. 10 years old. 11 years old. 12 years old.
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