September 22, 1998 my water broke early in the morning and I gave birth to my first born, Grant. I was only 20 years old. I had never experienced such joy and love. He was perfect in every way.
He made me a mommy. He made my parents grandparents (Mimi and Boppa) and he made my sisters aunts. He has taught me so much in his 12 years. He taught me how to laugh at all the little things, how to have purpose in the life I was living, how to be a mother. Mostly, he taught me how to love, a love beyond any measure. I did not know how much it would change my life. Had I known, it would have probably scared me in a wonderful way. No one could have explained how I would instantly love him when I first held him in my arms or how I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night because I would check on him every five minutes to make sure he was breathing. I marveled at every first he had and cried at some of his lasts.
Grant’s first girlfriend was Snow White J. He said he was going to marry her. That still makes me smile. When he met his first babysitter it was the first time I had heard him talk about maybe marrying someone else. She lived in our neighborhood and one day he decided he might see her if he went to the neighborhood park. I could see him out my kitchen window. It was really cold and we had just moved from Florida to Michigan. He had his teenage mutant ninja turtle plastic nun chucks with him and he practiced moves while he waited. Finally I saw him making his way home. He walked in the door and tears were streaming down his face. I asked him what was wrong and he said “I never saw her, I got my nun chucks stuck up in the tree, and this white stuff keeps hitting me in the head”. It had started to snow and he hadn’t experienced Michigan winters yet. I smiled and hugged him and wanted to hold onto that sweet moment forever.
Grant has a wonderful sense of humor. As he gets older I have to remind him what is appropriate and what isn’t, even though he already knows. He loves to tell stories and sometimes he embellishes them a little. He also loves to embarrass me and he will whenever he can. One day, when Grant was about 7, we were walking downtown and we had just gotten ice cream. I remember thinking it was a perfect day. I had a sun dress on and the boys were walking behind me slowly licking their cones when a strong wind came and blew my dress up in the back. I quickly pushed the back down and the front blew up. I was screaming and finally leaned up against the building until all the cars passed and the wind died down. Grant and Pierce were laughing so hard. That was the only enjoyment I could get out of the whole experience. Grant proceeded to tell that story to every single person we met, within the first two seconds of meeting them, for years.
Some of the hardest times I went through, Grant held my hand. One day I remember sitting at dinner with him and I started crying. He said “Mommy, everything is going to be all right because God will take care of you”. That was one of the proudest moments I had experienced with him. I must have done something right to have taught him that and now he was reminding me at a time when I needed to hear it most. He was so right! Grant has grown a lot in his faith in the past few years. We talk about how important it is to pray about everything and even talk about praying where God wants him for college. Ugh! I can’t even think about how quickly that will be here.
When I was engaged to Kyle, Grant wanted to be involved in as many wedding plans as I would let him. They were excited for me to marry into Kyle’s family, and to gain two dogs (Uncles Kip and Fridley) added to the excitement. They love their Papa Randy and Grandma Shelley, Aunt Lindsay (who Grant had a crush on when he first met her) and Uncle Brad, and the many other aunts, uncles, and cousins. Love took us all in when the Hoff family adopted us!
He is a wonderful big brother. He loves his brothers and he takes very good care of them. He fights a lot with Pierce (10) but he is the first to defend him in many situations. He plays games with Sawyer (2) and takes him on walks. Brody (1) loves when Grant babysits him and gives him baths. He’s not always excited to help out with them, and he certainly does not have any interest in changing diapers, but he demonstrates how much he loves all three of his brothers often and every day.
When he had his first day of kindergarten I remember fighting back tears, as many moms do. Now he is in junior high and I find myself still fighting tears when the first day of school comes around. He has a big heart and loves to give. I could not be prouder of my not so little boy.
Thank you for all you do! I love you more than you could ever imagine. Someday you'll drive by the house of the girl/boy your children like and honk your horn too, just like my mom did to embarrass me. I'm so glad God gave me you as my first born. I hope you dance...just kidding, that would be really cheesy if I were serious. Hope you have a wonderful Happy Birthday!!