Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday!!

They say that the best gifts come in the smallest packages. While, I don't believe that to always be true, I do know that on December 24, 1983 my hubby and I received one of those special 'small' gifts. After a difficult pregnancy, 7 weeks of bed rest, and still 9 weeks premature, we welcomed Jon Robert Pumpernickel into this world. He weighed in at 4 lb. 2 oz. and measured 17 inches long. Huge by gestational standards, but not without the problems that come with tiny babies.

The first time we held him, he was 4 days old and so incredibly tiny.

He was our second child. We had all the same hopes and dreams for him that we had for his sister. We wanted him to be happy, healthy and successful. We wanted him to grow up knowing he was loved and that he was special. Most of all we wanted to raise him to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

He was the sweetest baby. Quiet, laid back, content to happily watch his sister play. He demanded little and he had big blue eyes that melted my heart every time I looked into them. By his first birthday he was nearly caught up to other babies his age. He loved food and dove into his birthday cake with gusto:

By the time he was 5 he was a soft spoken, well behaved little boy. His preschool and kindergarten teachers loved him. They would often tell me that he was just so quiet that they didn't even know he was in the classroom. He loved to play with G.I. Joe's and Ninja Turtles. He liked to swim and play in the dirt with his best friend D.

At 10 he was all about sports. He loved basketball, especially Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. He was a Chargers Fan. We often teased that his blood was really blue and gold.

He knew Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. He attended AWANA and was memorizing books of scripture. He earned the God and Me badge through Boy Scouts. He had a tender heart. By this age he had several younger cousins. At family events we laughed because everywhere Jon went he was followed by a line of little cousins. It looked like a daddy duck with ducklings.

(Yes, Jon, I know your glasses are huge. But, all little boys glasses were huge back then. I promise you that I never shopped at Nerds R Us.)

By the age of 15 he was a very typical teenager. He was embarrassed if we took a breath in the same zip code as he did. He was having trouble distinguishing colors. Things that we clearly saw as white were the darkest black to him. He was seeking his independence in the most normal of ways, but we didn't have to like it. Besides that, I wasn't ready to let go. It is just this desire to be independent that makes him the amazing man he is today. Through high school he played 2 or 3 sports. Most of my memories of this period of his life looked something like this:

By the time he was 20 there was no denying (try though I did) that he had become a man. He was handsome, strong, confident, funny and suddenly so grown up. He had become the man we always prayed he would be. Attending UCSD he was working towards his own dreams and goals:

This year, as he turns 25, I suddenly feel very old. He just completed two Master's Degrees. One in Counseling Psychology and the other in Religious Studies. He is engaged to a wonderful girl. He is not my baby anymore, but then I guess he hasn't been for a very long time. When I look back at pictures of him when he was little, it seems like a lifetime ago. My son has become an amazing man. Ready to take on the world and his new life as a husband, a provider and both the physical as well as spiritual heads of his own household. He walks firmly with the Lord. Seeking Him for guidance along his path. I am proud to call him my son and I love him with all of my heart. Happy 25th Birthday Jon!


Jon said...

Yep, those were some glasses. I would like to point out that my friend P had misspelled the word "birthday" on that card. Its funny to me. Thanks, Mom. That was very nice. Almost made me cry. I'm not sure why...maybe I'm so grown up now that even Ii get emotional sometimes when I realize I'm no longer a kid.

Adams family said...

Very sweet, it did make me cry ;)It's cool to see the man he has become, you have great kids.

Dena said...

Dang what a hottie, those glasses rock! Totally made me cry and hope for the future. Happy Birthday, Jon.

heather said...

What a sweet blog. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it :)