Eighteen years ago today, I became a first time mom. What a completely life-changing experience it is. It is amazing. It is wonderful. It is exhausting. Moms of boys know exactly what I’m talking about.
Those toddler years – oh my! There were days I seriously thought one of us wasn’t going to live to see him grow up. Maybe me because of his near-heart attack inducing antics or him because he wouldn’t live through them. Funny now… stressful then. One of my most vivid memories was shortly after watching the first Toy Story movie. He was like any other three year old and loved that movie. He stood at the top of our staircase and yelled “to finity beyond”. And jumped. Just like Buzz Lightyear did in the movie.
I stood at the bottom of the staircase and in the time it took me to process exactly what he said, he was already mid-flight. Turns out Evan is not as aerodynamic as Buzz Lightyear. Fortunately, he didn’t break anything and we both survived that jump. And he learned to not do that again.
Obviously, he needed some kind of outlet for all this activity. So we enrolled him in soccer. I figured he’d play for a few years and burn off some of that “boy” energy. I had no idea. Seriously. Here we are 12 years later and he still loves the game with a passion. He’s had some amazing teams and games through the years. One of my favorite memories of him playing was a game in which he scored a double hat trick. Yep, that’s six goals in one game.
He also played goalie for a few years. He was okay playing goalie as soon as he figured out that he could still score goals while being the goalie. This kid could run fast. He could run the length of the field dribbling the ball before the other team even realized he was out of the goal.
Then the High School Track coach got a hold of him. Evan regularly runs a couple different races, but he says his favorite is the 4×400. If you’ve never been to a track meet, this is the very last race of the meet. There are four runners on a team and each runner runs a lap around the track and then passes the baton to the next teammate. He’s run in the anchor position a couple times, which means he is the very last one on his team to run and it’s up to him to make up time and distance to beat out the other teams. He says there is nothing like the rush you get when you know you’re the last one running the track and you have the entire track team watching you, cheering you on.
Then he surprised me at one of the meets by running hurdles. I hadn’t seen that before but he did pretty good and came in third. I asked him when he started practicing hurdles. He said “yesterday”. Ha!
Evan has always been willing to take a chance on an adventure or trying something new. And I love that about him. It will take him amazing places in the future.It’s so hard to pick just a couple favorite pictures but I love all of these for so many different reasons.
2001 – His Grandpa Browning made him a wooden airplane that rocked. He loved that plane. I think he loved it even more when he figured out how to tip it over.
2004 – This is not too long after the “Toy Story Incident”. He survived. Nothing broken. Just shaved 3 or 4 years off my life watching him fly through the air.
2006 – Doesn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain. Typical.
2013 – We did a Hawk Walk on a vacation and it was so cool. The trainer releases the Hawk. Then he has you hold your arm out. After a few minutes, he’ll call the Hawk back and it lands on your arm. These birds are huge and heavy and have an incredible wingspan. And they fly right towards you with their talons out. Evan loved it.
2015 – The soccer picture… This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of him playing soccer. Both feet are off the ground along with the ball. And he is just sailing through the air.
2015 – The vest and tie. He sure cleans up nice!
2016 – This is after a track meet in which he won a couple medals.
2017 – Just got his Letterman’s jacket for running on the Varsity track team. And yes, that yellow car he’s standing in front of is his.
And now he’s a senior in High School… Preparing for the next step in his future.
Evan, I can’t believe how much you’ve grown through the years. You have grown into an amazing, talented, caring young man. I am so proud of you. And I can’t wait to see where the future takes you. Because I know it will be amazing. Just like you.