Shawn turns 30.

Thirty years ago, this boy made me a momma. Back then, ultrasound wasn’t a regular thing during pregnancy so the docs and nurses all “guessed” gender based on heartrate, position, etc., My mom showed up at the hospital with pink balloons, pink clothes, etc. And wondered why “she” was wearing a blue cap.

His siblings call him “The Golden Child” and “Shawny.” His dad calls him his best friend. He loves sports and foods of all kinds. He cooks. Really, really, well. From teaching swimming to littles and adults, coaching, boy scout camp leader, shooting instructer, fishing, and in the classroom, he’s a teacher. He loves music of all genres and knows all the words to all the Disney songs.

He is the original momma’s boy. He’s the one that is always checking on me. He’s the one that knows exactly what my reaction is going to be to everything. He tries to warn the others. When he left for college, he called me every day. He still does. When his dad went off to the War College in Newport, RI, he was 10. He got it in his head that he had to be “the man of the house” now and take care of me and his sister and baby brother. That is a lot of responsibility for a ten-year-old and the stress and worry manifested itself in a case of shingles.

He loves big which means he grieves hard. And he has experienced some big losses in his short 30 years.

He’s messy. Whatever he is doing, he is messy about it. But he also has a touch of my OCD which means he is very particular about a few very specific things. Like his fishing gear. Don’t be messing with it. And he is always right. Ask him, he’ll tell you, and he’s gonna be right. Espically abut history. And fishing. And baseball.

He loves Jesus and isn’t ashamed to say it, show it, and share it. He loves the song, “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”

He moved from his beloved Virginia a year ago this July. He has embraced Texas as his own now. After all, it is rich in history like his home state. Big and wide and open and vast like his heart. But I think he will be back on the East Coast one day. That is where his family is. And if there is one thing we taught him well…family is everything.

Happy Birthday, Shawn. You are so loved.

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