When we met, you were just a wee lad of 5 years old, but quite learned for your age. I will never forget the day I asked you what you wanted for your 6th birthday, and you'd asked if I could come to your birthday party. No requests for toys, or other gifts. I honestly wasn't sure how to make that happen, as I'd be back in Vancouver by then.. but somehow your Dad and I managed to pull it off.
I fell in love with 3 little bears during that visit, and things rather evolved from there. From single to Mom of 3 active kids was a stretch, and quite the learning curve, but we made it. Your Dad used to tease that I only loved him for his kids - and though you may be the reason I came initially, naturally -- he was a huge part of the reason I stayed. Moving here, could very well be the biggest adventure of my life (so far).
I will never forget reading you guys bedtime stories and having you and your sister tag-team me and ask to call me Mom. Not to exclude your "real mom," as you'd often call her -- but you wanted a Mom that lived with you. It is a privelage I never took lightly. Little did I know then, that life would never again be quiet, dull or boring.
I had no idea going in that I'd learn such valuable life skills as walking on lego, removing syrup from bedsheets, or the ins and outs of battle. I laugh every time I think of playing Co-Op Red Alert, and having you set up next to our bases and then flip the switch and attack. I remember you letting your sister sit on the chair beside you and watch you play RA for hours, just so that you'd get to play longer. Hearing you explain to her all about what you were doing and why, was adorable. Playing Nintendo and declaring it would be turn based as each of you 'died' knowing full well that your sisters wouldn't "live" as long as you. Oh boy how you liked to make them whine!
Your love of reading has never wavered, I remember taking a book away from you at the dinner table and having you read the packaging of all the condiments on the table just to show that you could still read without your book. Grossing your sisters out by announcing loudly what animal died for whatever we were having to eat that night was a favourite hobby for a time.
As I sit here on what is your 24th birthday, and reflect on the path we've travelled, from a sweet and precocious little boy, to a grown man in just the blink of an eye. I marvel at the fact that so many years have passed. It doesn't seem like that could even be possible.
Glad to see that you have maintained that mischevious grin that got you into and out of so much trouble over the years. Though you are an adult, you can still be a kid at heart - that will take you far.
Being your "Teemy" and getting to watch you grow up has been one of the biggest highlights of my life. I love you sweetie! <3
Happy 24th Birthday Justin Edwards!
Wishing you all the love, hugs, and happiness that your heart can hold - today and always. XO