“This Is 16”
Our first-born, as of this morning, is officially old enough to drive a car and is learning to fly an airplane.
This is 16.
Jeff and I technically met during our first attempts of post-graduation studies at U.C.C. (University College of the Cariboo aka TRU). He was the only guy who caught my eye on campus and at the school bus stop. I say ‘technically’ because we had also done a day snowboarding together but got more closely acquainted at…The Max…a popular-at-the-time local nightclub (insert cringe emoji, Eve’s ‘Got What You Need’ and Semisonic’s ‘Closing Time’ songs here- thanks Van and Rick ;).
I was 22 and Jeff was 21…and I AM the older and wiser one in the relationship, right honey?
We were young. We had just met.
It was a bit of a whirlwind few months and after first meeting in late January of 2003, Braden was born the following year on May 25, 2004 at 8 something in the morning.
That kid sure gave me a run for my money in the pregnancy department with keeping me morning sick for all three trimesters. He also decided to take his sweet time coming out and ended up looking dark blue with a really low Apgar score so there was no celebratory umbilical cord cutting or anything like that. He was quickly whisked away and was off to get his little butt spanked upside down and whatever else they do to wake babies like that up.
When Braden finally got his act together, we hung out in the hospital for a couple of sleeps before heading back to our humble two bedroom rental apartment.
That was it.
That was the real deal start of parenting and of life as we now know it.
As mentioned in previous posts, choices, circumstances and events had our little family unit moving houses, cities and provinces. Some of us were in and out of hospitals, jobs changed, money became non-existent at times and Jeff and I had decided to divorce at one point and had told the kids it was a done deal. There were definitely many moments when life sucked.
But, Braden has been such a trooper through all of the messiness.
He’s chill, he is steady.
He has been an honour roll student since grades became a thing. He’s earned his black stripe in Taekwondo, got his babysitting certificate at age 11, did his FoodSafe at age 13, been a leader and volunteer with many organizations and he crushed his first paid job last year…at age 14/15 working at one of busiest restaurants in our city.
He’s got an incredible heart for caring about others, he’s got a hilarious and witty sense of humour and when you’re around Bray, you don’t need Google…the guy can answer pretty much anything.
I’m not sure where he acquired his smarts and level of maturity from but whatever the case, Braden has a bright future ahead of him and is an amazing kid.
Jeff and I are grateful and stoked that God chose and entrusted us to care for B. He’s been fun to hang out with.
Up in the air again tomorrow, the masked and gloved pilot-in-training continues to pursue his dream.
Happy 16th Birthday Braden!
We love you so much bud,
-Mom, Dad, Luke and (morkie) Daisy