Grandpa’s Wisdom on My Son’s 13th Birthday

My oldest child turns 13 today. 13 years ago my life changed in such a powerful and profound way that it’s sometimes hard to remember what life was like before I became his mom. As I gathered my baby in my arms on our first day together on that hot summer day back in 2001, I had no idea the journey that lay in front of us.

cal newborn 2

I have struggled over the past weeks trying to come up with a post packed with wisdom and insight to share on the occasion of this milestone birthday but I keep coming up short. It turns out it’s pretty darn hard to put into words the feeling like my heart might burst right through my chest with the love I have for him. Or how much I admire his passion for life, his wicked sense of humour and his rock steady self-confidence. And it’s nearly impossible to articulate that even though I am enjoying watching him mature into a wonderful young man – I’d give just about anything to roll back the clock a bit for the chance to scoop him up and snuggle him in my arms one more time.

cal toddler

Luckily for me – my dad saved the day. He wrote a beautiful letter for my son and asked me to give it to him on his birthday. And it’s perfect. Simple, sweet and loving…and he kindly agreed to let me share it on my blog. Thanks for writing such a heartfelt piece dad and happy birthday to my new teenager. I love you more than you could ever imagine and I feel incredibly lucky to be your mom.

cal and dad

To My First Grandchild,

Before you were born your mom and dad announced that you were coming and I cried tears of joy.

The first grandchild is special and you are and always will be super special to us.

I remember your first steps, the first time you called me “grandpa”, the time you tossed your baby bottle and then cried for it, the first time you pooped on the potty and called to tell me, the first fish that you caught, the first time you tasted pumpkin pie and the time your mom pushed your face in one. All of these special memories and so many more! You were never shy to come and stay with grandma and I and we cherish the time that we spent with you both now and then.

And now you are 13 in what seems like the blink of an eye and I and wondering what wisdom that I have to share with you. Not sure I am qualified to do this but glad to share some thoughts with you:

Never be afraid to love, sometimes it hurts but it is always worth the risk.

Always make time in your life for fun and laughter.

Be quick to make new friends but cherish the old ones.

Stay in touch with your family. Friends come and go but family is forever.

Don’t worry. Be happy.

Grandma and I love you now, tomorrow and forever.

Enjoy your 13th birthday and all of your exciting life ahead.

Much love. Grandpa

cal now


10 thoughts on “Grandpa’s Wisdom on My Son’s 13th Birthday

  1. Your Son is so lucky to have such a wonderful Grandfather. I know because I am honoured to be his friend. Susan Wilson (biking skiing buddy)

  2. Awesome post and a beautiful letter from your Dad. I started reading it before our 7 am class this morning and had to stop because of the lump in my throat!

  3. “weepy eyes” What a beautiful and heart touching post!! My oldest is seven and think about the years ahead when I can longer cuddle up with her…I feel your words deeply. Please thank your Dad for allowing you to share the letter; it brought a huge smile into my heart. Your family is lucky to have such an open-hearted grandfather and yes, I do believe he is qualified to share some wisdom! Enjoy this special day sunshine!!

  4. Lori, I see where you get it! Warmth and openness runs in the family. It is certainly a tender time in your life, and yet from personal experience, you will be blown away by the new relationship with your son that will gradually, with time, reveal itself. Teens and young adults can bring such richness to the parent-child experience. Enjoy this new journey and be ready to learn.

    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful comment Bev! So many people are quick to warn me about the awful “teen years” – it’s inspiring to hear your encouraging words. I am ready to enjoy and to learn!

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