Happy 16th Birthday Stephen!

Stephen with his big owl eyes.

Today Stephen is 16 years old.  Everything with Stephen has always been fast.  It took two years for me to get pregnant with Nick and thinking it would take that long to get pregnant again, we started less than two years after having Nick.  We were lucky and nine months later Stephen shot into the world not caring if there was a doctor there to catch him.

One of my favorite pictures of Stephen and his big brother Nick sharing a smile.
This sense of speed and needing everything immediately has characterized Stephen through his entire life.  He stopped playing baseball because it was too slow.  Soccer was more his speed so he has dedicated most of his life to the game.  We have spent years watching him play and it’s one of the greatest joys that we share with him.  
Stephen and his cousin Marisa at my niece, Samantha’s wedding in September.

Turning 16 is a major milestone for any young adult.  That sense of impending independence driving a car, getting a job, dating, thinking about college; there is so much happening in his world right now.

As a mom who lost one son just before he could start reaching these milestones, it’s a huge relief. I know Stephen will not get cancer, but I don’t know what his life will be like.  I can only hope that he will live a long and healthy life, go to college, have a career that he loves and a family that he adores. But we have learned that life is not guaranteed.  So as I think about him turning 16, I am incredibly grateful that he is here with us to share this young adult milestone.  I’m sad that his brother isn’t here, but I know that he’s nearby as he has been sending me messages to give to his little brother.
 
Stephen keeps moving fast in his life, but I hope that he will stop and realize just how precious this time in his life really is and know how much his dad and I love him.

Happy 16th Birthday Stephen.

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