Sunday, July 31, 2011


It's now September 11th, and I'm still trying to wrap up summer here. This is my last post for July—yay! I really want to get caught up and stay that way, because it's a lot harder to write something meaningful as time passes.

This was a big milestone—we have a teenager now!

Robbie's birthday was on a Sunday this year, so it was pretty mellow. After church he opened his presents. When I had asked him what he wanted, he said, "I don't know, anything you get me would be great, Mom." I said, "Okay, socks and underwear it is." And then he said, "Actually, I could use some new socks and underwear." He's always been pretty easy-going that way. I didn't actually buy any socks or underwear, but he did get some much-needed shorts and shirts that work for the strict dress code at his junior high.

He got a book or two,

a new watch,

plus an iTunes gift card and a cover for his new iPod Touch. He has been working and saving all summer to earn enough money to buy this, and he was finally able to buy it just before his birthday. He worked hard and passed up many opportunities to spend his money, and we're proud of him.

I saved my favorite gift for last. It's a book of letters, written by family and friends who were kind enough to reply to my last-minute request. I wanted to share advice that would help Robbie through the sometimes-difficult teen years, but even more, I wanted him to know how many great people love and support him. This book exceeded my expectations on both counts.

Over fifty people responded, even some friends who were on vacation in Europe. They covered a range of spiritual, social, financial, educational and practical matters. There were stories, poems, book recommendations, quotes, and many expressions of love and confidence. I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I compiled this book.

I wasn't really sure this was something Robbie would appreciate immediately though. I figured it might take him a few years to realize what a treasure he had received.

But as the day went on and he ignored his new iPod to read, he kept stopping to say, "Thanks, Mom, I really love this." Since then he has tried to thank everyone who contributed, and refers to it often. I think he gets it.

There are no photos (so unlike me—I just didn't have time!), and the text might be too small to read (edited: you can read it in the full-screen view), but here's the entire book:

That evening, we were invited to dinner at Ralph and Judy's, which was sort of a present to me more than Rob & Robbie, but they're always happy to eat a delicious dinner with great company too.

Robbie was super-excited to wear the birthday hat. ;)

We're looking forward to great things from this teenager. Love you Robbie!

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