Thirteen years ago today I welcomed my first child into the world.  I have done it five times since, and I am preparing for the seventh mangokid to arrive in the fall, but the first time was something special.  I remember when I used to sit on the couch and he fit entirely on my lap.  Today he pounds down the hallway and regularly clears the final four steps as he leaps down the stairway.  What happened to that skinny little bald baby that smelled like lotion and talcum powder?  Now he's got a mop of hair and regularly smells like wet grass and dog...  He was a quiet little guy back then, now he blogs.

Today is a big day.  Today, I become the father of a teenager.

That would strike fear into many, but I love it!  I have never bought into the idea of "the teen years" being problematic.  I have never raised any of my children to think that these years would be troublesome.  As a matter of fact, I have raised them to look forward to these years.  Great challenging years of growth and development physically, mentally and spiritually.

I have been blessed.  He is a great kid.  He's one of the smartest and funniest kids I know (and sometimes that gets him into trouble with his mother).  He has a sharp sense of wit and sarcasm (albeit untamed) that I look forward to helping him hone as he matures.  His love for God is evident and we can clearly see him developing the fruit of the spirit in his life.

Happy Birthday Hayden!  May God continue to bless you as you grow in wisdom and stature!

Quietly making noise,