Yesterday, kid, you turned 17 months old.
And boy, let me tell you, you are awesome.
Your dad and I look at each other all the time and say, "Wow! He is so freaking awesome/cute/smart/adorable/whateverotheradjectivefitsatthemoment." I texted your dad the other day and told him that you are the best thing we ever did.
But, I realize you are now 17 years old reading this. You are probably rolling your eyes at the sentimental stuff. I get it. It's not stopping me though. So bear with me, please.
Right about now, I'm imagining...
You have probably convinced your dad that a new car is a good idea. And I'm probably still disagreeing. And I'll tell you how these days you drive your cars up and down your little ramps making vroom motor noises. Your little fingers grasp those little cars so proudly. And you will roll your eyes again, probably.
I'm certain you are a fabulous big brother. Right now, you're learning to say 'baby' (among your rapidly growing vocabulary). You stroll your baby doll and share your sippy with it. You have no idea what is about to come your way, as I'm almost 20 weeks pregnant with your little sibling. I hope that we do a better than good job of introducing you to the notion and reality of a new addition to the family. I hope you always feel loved. Each minute of every single day.
I'm certain our love for you will have increased at a rate and pace that we can't even fathom now. You will have touched so many lives by now. You will be so close to being a man.
I hope you beg to sleep in on the weekends so that I can go in and wake you up. Payback, kid, for your lack of sleeping skills thus far. When I peek in on you to be sure you're home from wherever you went that night, I'll remember how it is today. In the last few weeks, you have almost welcomed your bed. You lay your head on your pillow, pull Nemo or Ames up under your arms and fall asleep with your bottom in the air. And sometimes, you'll pull the blanket up and around your shoulders and tuck it in underneath your chest. Seriously, it makes me melt.
I know, I know you're probably groaning and want to stop reading the sappyness right about now and looking at your unmade tangled bedsheets (since I'm sure you'll take after your dad in that department) and wanting to crawl back in and take a nice, long nap.
I trust you'll keep your sweet manners and treat everyone with respect and love. You've been saying 'thank you' since about a year of age. And now, you are so polite it makes my heart explode. I'll hand you your sippy and you'll say 'thank you' in that sweet voice. You'll thank the grocery store clerks. Waiters and waitresses. Ahhhh, seriously. So sweet. You seem to know the appropriate times to say it. It's pretty awesome.
I plead with you, please don't ever be too cool or too grown or too anything to tell us you love us. I want you to be as happy to hug me as a teenager as you are right now. I hope when your dad gets home from work, you still (somewhat) show him how excited you are that he's back. You've just started to say 'I love you' in toddler speak. We'll say 'bye' and you'll say 'bye. I love you.' It may not be clear to everyone, but we know what you're saying.
I want you to know, 17-year old Asher, that we have thoroughly loved each and every moment with you these first 17 months of your life (despite any rantings you may read about on here). We are so honored to call you our son. And we can't wait to see the man you will become.
The other day, I was listening to Pandora Radio (I'm sure you are thinking, what? Pandora Radio? Huh?) on the computer while I was working. A version of Simple Man began to play.
I stopped what I was doing and thought of you and the words of this song. They are so powerful and yet so simple. And they ring true in my heart.
So, please (pretty please?) go online or on your phone or to the magical music world in the future and listen to Simple Man by Shinedown.
Do it for me.
And if you do this, it'll help you some sunny day.
And don't live too fast.
And don't forget that there's someone up above.
And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, don't you worry. You'll find yourself.
Follow your heart and nothing else.
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try.
And all that I want from you my son is to be satisfied.
And be a simple kind of man.
Won't you do this for me, son, if you can?
We love you, Asher Ray. Since before you were even 17 seconds old. And now 17 months old. 17 years old. And every millisecond in between and still ahead.