W. Cayden Harney, today you are 13 years old. No longer in the category of a child, but now a young man. Although I would argue that you left childish ways years ago, because of your old soul, but officially today, I can say I have a teenager.
I remember the morning I found out about you, my legs were shaking, my arms were shaking, the hot Arizona late July sun had temps already in 100s before 7 am. Your dad was still sleeping when I saw the two pink lines fill the little box.
My heart stopped; I remember everything spinning. The way your dad found out about you was different. He walked into the bathroom in his morning haze and only until his eyes adjusted and he began to wake up did he see a little present laying on the floor of the bathroom…
The first time we heard your heart beat, we finally believed you were real.
The first time we held you in our arms, we couldn’t believe you were ours.
The first time you flew in a plane, little did we know we would be suddenly moving back to Alaska.
The first time you ate solids, you were insulted and only wanted mom’s milk.
The first time you walked, we were living in a small little apartment on Carlanna street.
The first time you learned to care for others was when I was pregnant with Ezzy and you would find me my slippers and put them on my feet when my big belly stopped me.
The first time you learned to grow up quicky was in the shuffling between Ronald McDonald’s house and the NICU for Ezzy.
The first time you learned the loss that comes with cystic fibrosis was when we stopped ALL playdates after Ezzy’s diagnosis.
The first time you went to school, you cried and didn’t want to leave my side, but a few minutes later the office called and said you were fine.
The first time you killed an animal (with dad’s supervision) you shed a tear, understanding that life is fragile.
The first time you had a sleep over, your parents didn’t sleep at all, we prayed you through the night.
The first time you corrected me when I was wrong, you did so with such conviction that I immediately apologized.
The first time you realized the “great commission” you asked our church for enough invites to an outreach event and hand wrote each kid in your class name on it.
The first time you really pushed the limits with me and left me speechless, your dad created a plan of intense manual labor to prove a point.
The first time you ran a half marathon you were 9 years old, all because you wanted your sister to be able to camp and not miss a treatment.
The first time you traveled without a parent, was because of your love of soccer and the team needing their team captain.
The first time I realized that you have a big call on your life I heard the Lord tell me to pray for your heart, because it is going to be big.
The first time you became a teenager, you called me and asked me “when are we running”, because the Totem to Totem is just 8 weeks away…
The first are still coming. There are more to celebrate. I can’t believe that I have been given the gift to be your momma for the last 13 years.
I love that you still call me momma after all these years. That you send text messages to me any night that you are away from me saying goodnight. How you yell up the stairs to your sisters and tell them “goodnight” and “I love you”. I love that you are quick to be the man of the house and take the role seriously. I love that your teachers, coaches and other adults in your life have seen the unique gifts God has given you in leadership and they are helping you grow it. I love that you still talk about wanting to be in the military, but that other possibilities are forming in your mind now that you are discovering who you are. I love that you still ask for specific prayer when things are hard.
Cayden, today you are 13, you are entering into young manhood.
We even got to have a little bar mitzvah for you tonight as well! You read so well and confidently!
Happy birthday, my one and only son!