To my boy who is now a man, on your 18th birthday… The past 18 years have gone by so quickly. Wasn’t it only a year or two ago when we brought you home in that navy covered car seat? We tiptoed around afraid to wake your sleepy head, then sang annoying songs to keep you awake attempting to put you on our schedule... “here comes Caden Claus, here comes...”
Before I knew it, you were walking around the house wanting to find as many doorstops as you could and were fascinated by sprinklers and vacuums. Helicopters, skyscrapers, all the things you loved now seems like so long ago, but yet only yesterday at the same time.
Remember the days of daycare where you refused to take a nap because you just knew you were going to be picked up soon? You learned to read the clock so you could tell the teachers exactly what time your grandpa would be there. Your stubbornness will probably never change, but I’d like to think that will take you far in life.
Your first days of school may have seemed tough, but you found your way and have always excelled and made us proud on your report cards. As you venture off to college soon, I know you’ll continue to succeed.
Always with a competitive nature… “Who could forget the time you told me ‘mom, I love the baby more than Ryker loves the baby! Ryker doesn’t even love the baby’.” To this day, you live to compete.
Watching you play football and baseball through the years has brought so much pride and joy to your dad and I. I don’t know what we’ll do when it’s over. Many of the best memories I have from the past 18 years are watching you on that mound fight through a full-count only to throw a strike on the next pitch, sitting the batter down. Sure, there has been hurt, but the lessons you learn from those pains are the things that have made you who you are today.
On the football field, the same holds true. You’ve seen victories and you’ve had your struggles, but it only made you stronger.
The lessons you’ve taught your dad and I through life have been numerous. I’ve always tried to preserve every moment behind the lens of a camera— hoping I could hold onto each one just a little longer. But it’s time to realize there comes a period in life when you have to let your babies go and let them fly on their own. I know that time is nearing, and though I’m not ready for it, I know you’ll continue to succeed in life, and I know you’ll always come home to me and you’ll always be my little boy.
Happy birthday, Caden… I love you to pieces and whole again! Enjoy adulting!