Our first child turns 16 today. My Facebook statement sums up my sentiments nicely: “Hard to believe my eldest son Brendan turns 16 today. He is smart, responsible, strong, gentle, persistent, respectful, and faithful — and I love him.” But don’t take my word for the type of young man he is (outstanding in many ways) or what motivates him (faith, food, personal goals, and a particular brand of ginger soda). Consider how he’s spending this special occasion:
- The movie Cinderella Man and pie last night, and the actual Braddock-Baer fight from 1935 on YouTube this morning.
- Breakfast burritos this morning, football this afternoon, stuffed pasta shells this evening, chocolate bundt cake for dessert — all here at home, with family.
- No driver’s license until later this winter or early this spring — he’s got school, wrestling, Confirmation classes, and taxidermy work to earn money for a pilgrimage to Rome next summer.
- On his birthday list: several Catholic books; the movies Big Jake, Captain America and Here Comes the Boom; the book Cinderella Man, and a “Vires et Honestas” (Strength and Honor) t-shirt from the Art of Manliness website.
- Theology class tonight with his friends.
He opened his gifts this morning: a secondhand army dufflebag containing the following:
- two 12-packs of Vernors, plus a book called The Vernor’s Story and a vintage Vernors recipe guide from the 1960s;
- a handful of 100 Grand candy bars;
- a jar each of smoked black pepper and hot dill pickles;
- Fr. Richard Heilman’s books Church Militant Field Manual: Special Forces Training for the Life in Christ, Fortes in Fide: Church Militant Prayer Book, and Strength and Alliance: Church Militant Field Journal;
- The Naval Academy Candidate Book: How to Prepare, How to Get In, How to Survive;
- Three movies: Here Comes the Boom and the two recent Sherlock Holmes flicks;
- and a set of keys to all three vehicles and the house on a Captain America key ring.
Some of it he asked for, all of it he’ll enjoy — and sweet 16 in this case is a relaxing day at home. He’s growing into a fine young man, and we’re proud of him. Much love to you on your birthday, son!
One thought on “Bren Turns 16”
He's a wonderful young man! Brought up in the ways of the Lord, w/good parents and great Grandparents. Every Kid should be as fortunate as Brendan is. Watching him turn into a fine young man is such a joy! Congratulations Jim & Jodi, you've done a fine job! Happy Birthday Brendan