I sometimes wish you were still small,
Not yet so big and strong and tall.
For when I think of yesterday,
I close my eyes and see you play.
I often miss that little boy
Who pestered me to buy a toy,
Who filled my days with pure delight
From early morn to late at night.
We watch our children change and grow
As seasons come, then quickly go.
But our God has a perfect plan
To shape a boy into a man.
Today, my son, I'm proud of you
For all the thoughtful things you do.
I'll love you till my days are done,
And I'm so grateful you're my son.
Poem by Larry Howland
You are our firstborn, our oldest son whom we’re so very proud of. I never knew the depth of a mother’s love, until you were born. Although we’ve made many mistakes as we’ve learned to parent, you have graciously loved us and forgiven us through the variety of challenges we faced as new parents.
Even though we were clueless in many ways, our Father never was, nor will He ever be. He has blessed us with the finest of young men, much more so than we deserve or can take credit for. You have grown from a small, mischievous boy into a man of honor and integrity. From the time you were just two-years-old, God has used you to guide us, to point us in His direction, to remind us to seek Him, and to live with purpose to honor Him in all that we think, say, and do.
Today, as we celebrate your 16th birthday, I am reminded of how very proud of you I am, proud of the Christian example you are to not only our family, but to the world, proud to call you my son. God blessed us beyond measure when He chose to share you with us, Parker. We pray you will always keep your eyes fixed on Him, living your life as selflessly as you do today, committed to the One who gave you life. You are a rare example of a wise young man with a heart broken for the very things that break His. We pray that God will use you to touch the lives of countless others, the way you have touched ours.
Thank you, Parker, for leading us, teaching us, and reminding us of what’s truly important in this life. We couldn’t be more proud of you, son. Happy 16th birthday!