Clayton at 23
Happy Birthday Son! It has been a whirlwind. I blinked and my baby boy was all grown up. You are still one of the best chapters in the book of my life and I like to reread it over and over as it makes me so happy.
I have always hoped to raise kids who are strong and who love hard with everything they have. I didn’t want them to just desire stuff but I wanted them to be real and hopeful and grateful. I prayed for their friends, their mates and their daily choices. I asked God to make them into people who willingly give away whatever they do have to those who need it. I wanted kids who see the world with their heavenly father’s eyes, who wipe away the tears of their friends, who carry the stretchers of those who couldn’t carry themselves to the feet of Jesus, who have faith enough to trust every day, who weep with those who weep and who laugh hard and often and worship the Lord with their whole life. And God answered my prayer beyond even what I asked – twice!
I tell my students that I don’t expect them to do something that I am unwilling to do myself so I answer the same discussion prompts and complete the same assignments. So, in the same way, more than simply raising amazing human beings, I wanted to be like the person I was praying my kids would become. I know I have not always been the mom you needed, but Clayton, you, and your sister, have been the answer to to my hope and prayer, and much more, even beyond my wildest imagination.
My proudest moments are telling others that you are my son. You are godly and kind and more like your father than I can say. I pray that this year will be a good year and that you will continue to lean in to God’s strength for the journey, that you will face challenges with confidence and grace, that your choices and friends would continue to bring out the best in you and that you will keep me in the loop. I love you!