This morning my alarm woke me at 5:00 a.m. I grumbled under my breath, “Why did I set my alarm so early?” Then I remembered that today was special. Today is your birthday. It’s not one of those big milestone birthdays, but you’ve made such an impact on our family for the last eight years that I wanted to celebrate by telling you a few things.
You make me laugh. Your spirit always finds ways to deflate intense situations. There is something very special about someone who can bring that kind of joy to the people around them. Laugh every day, but also know when it’s time to be serious and respectful.
You have always loved the outdoors. From a casual game of basketball to a trip to the park, the fresh air revitalizes you. More than anything? You convince your brother and sister to go outside more too. We all know home important it is to stay active and get some sunshine as often as we can. Don’t ever lose your will to try new things, go on grand adventures, and see the world around you. There is so much out there and I want you to experience it ALL!
Don’t give your brother a hard time. He loves you and I know deep down inside you look up to him. Can I be honest? I think Zach is one of the best brothers anyone could ever have. You don’t feel this right now, but he cares about you and wants what’s best for you. I pray that, one day, you can be best friends. I see him visiting you in college and checking out your dorm room. I see him asking you to his house for a cookout with his wife and children. I pray you two grow closer as the world around you grows bigger. He’s the only brother you have. So, embrace your differences, love each other, and be kind with your words.
Show compassion and keep serving. You have the most giving heart and you’re already making an impact on the people around you. Find places that need your help. Find people who need your help. You can ALWAYS help in some way and some fashion. It can be as big as gathering new toys for the needy at Christmas time or as small as cleaning the local park on Earth Day. Know that you can ALWAYS make a difference. Be the difference and the light to our community.
Will you rest already?! Since you were a baby, sleep has never been much of an importance for you. You can go a million miles a minute and ask to do it again tomorrow. I love how much energy you have, but rest is important. You have such an intense taste for life that you don’t want to miss a thing. I get it, but I also know that you will go and go and go until your body finally says, “No more.” Don’t get to that point. Know the value of rest.
Study hard, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Your sister does that and there is something very special about pushing yourself, but don’t forget to be a kid. Do your homework, keep up with your studies, and don’t shy away from responsibility. God has big plans for your future. Whether it’s playing left tackle at a big university or being a scientist researching ways to cure cancer…. It’s okay to dream big. I’ve seen God do big things. So, do your best and never give up.
Eat healthy. I know I’m not the HEALTHIEST of cooks, but I want you to be strong. I want you to eat fruits and vegetables. I NEED you to drink more water. Being left tackle on a football team requires you to be hydrated at all times. Know that. Also know that enjoying your favorite food is a delight. Some of my favorite moments with you is when we’re enjoying our favorite foods together (or dancing in the kitchen while we cook our favorite foods).
Most of all? Remember to keep your promises, be yourself, and learn from your mistakes. Respect your teachers, pastors, and parents. Be grateful for everything you have. Pray. Every chance you get pray. One of the sweetest moments of my life was when you were born, but the day you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior has to top it all. You are a child of the one true King. Happy Birthday Rudy!
Sara Patterson has been blogging since 2007, but took a break for a couple years to tackle the world of news. She was the Social Media Director for a Houston based market 10 news station for over 2 years, but decided it was time to go back to her roots as a parenting blogger so she can spend more time with her family. Follow her personal Twitter account @SocialNewsSara, blogging account @Family_Appeal, or community involvement account @HFTexans.
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