To my son on his Birthday

Twelve years ago today, I was blessed with a baby boy. Patrick James Woodford.

Both of my pregnancies were not easy. Pre-mature labor with Kelsey, and Doctors telling me that my second born, my baby boy had a 60% chance of having Down Syndrome. Frightened, sad, confused, and shocked are just a few emotions Woody and I felt. To hear the doctor say "you need to think about what you want to do", left my heart heavy. I could not believe what I was hearing.

On May 12, 2004 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Healthy, kind, funny, smart,fast, good looking and born with such an athletic talent. As most of you know, he did not get that from me. Patrick was blessed with his fathers athletic abiliteis. Any sport, anywhere. It is a true gift. 

Thank you Woody for giving me such amazing children. And co-parenting, the best way a divorced couple possible can.

So today, I am writing the man of my house a letter on his birthday.

Dear Patrick,

"My handsome man". That is what I say to you every morning to wake you up. Even if your sister and your dad mimic me and laugh. You are my handsome boy, who is becoming a young, handsome man.

You are the man of my house. You are the energy that sometimes I don't have.

You will still hold my hand in public, and you give me kisses before you get up to that plate. I hope you will always find a way to do so even if I am not there. Now and forever.

Your heart is open. I envy that. Keep it open even if it breaks. Time will heal that. Do not let your heart become cold. It takes too long to thaw.

Don't hold grudges.

You always know how to make me laugh.

Keep that humor with you always. Don't let a bad at bat, in the field or on the court take that from you.

Keep smiling and continue to make people smile. It is contagious. You never know who you will make happy, by just smiling. 

Be yourself ALWAYS. Do your funny dances whenever you feel like it. Sing out loud. Don't worry about what others think. They will respect you more.

Continue to be respectful. To your peers, your teammates, coaches and teachers.

Proceed with leadership and independence. Followers are easily abused and taken advantage of.  If you have the right balance of independence, you will be on top of your own issues and you will be more free to look after others.

Think good thoughts, say nice things and do good for others.

Stay sweet. Treat the girls with respect.

Be honest. Lying does not get anyone anywhere, but in trouble. And, remember; "you will always get caught". (especially if you are with someone with a good intuition like your mom)

Don't play games. (head games)

Give compliments. 

Hold the door.

Pull out the chair for your date. (not from under her)

Stand up when she excuses herself.

Help around the house.

Give a kiss hello and goodbye. ALWAYS. 

Say I love you. But make sure you mean it.

I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments and I know there are so many more to come. You light up my days and nights. My life. (even when you are grumpy). Yes. You can certainly be grumpy. But that is all part of growing up. Life is not easy. But I know that you will do the best that you can and succeed with any test you take, any bat or ball you put in your hand. 

You have two parents and a sister that love you very much.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday my handsome man,

I love you will all of my heart and soul,

Be happy

Be healthy

Be strong,