Yet today he turns 17, not quite a baby and definitely not little. That adorably delightful munchkin who completed our family and gave his older brother and sister another best friend is no longer just a kid who's simply defined by his place in the pecking order. He's a remarkably capable, responsible, sweet, smart and kind young man. Everyone who knows him loves him. And for good reason, as he always seems to be working the room, working the moment to find the smile in others.
I've always seen so much of my wife in our kids, and Noah is no exception. He got her ability to draw others in, to make them feel as if no one else matters when it's just the two of you together. To take the everyday and make it worth something more. This is a kid who's always seized life, and watched out for others along the way. And as he stands on the threshold of leaving behind forever that sense of being a kid, a baby, the youngest, I realize the things that have made him such a good soul all along had precious little to do with the order in which he came into the world.
Happy birthday, Little Man. Keep putting your amazingly unique mark on everything you touch and on everyone whose path you cross. And never forget why we all love you so much.
Your turn: What's your wish for Noah as he turns 17?