A son … ‘daring and loving and strong and kind’

 Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????“I have a son, who is my heart. A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind.” — Maya Angelou

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Matt! I have to indulge a bit today since it’s my son’s birthday.

In this picture he was four years old as he held his six-month-old sister. He was my little buddy who arrived three weeks early on a February day … a cheerful first born of a first born of a first born who was the first grandchild and only grandson.

Thoughtful and introspective, and a source of joy since the day he arrived, this tiny six-pound baby became a little blond curly-headed boy who loved baseball and soccer, and grew into a kind, loving, industrious young man who is now almost six feet tall.

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That weekend in 1984 had been one of those warm February spells that are common in western North Carolina. This little fella was due in March so we had no thoughts that there was an impending event about to happen as my husband and I spent the weekend outdoors walking the 100-acre farm where we lived.

I climbed hills that weekend and hiked and jumped across creeks, once stepping backward into mud that sucked my boot down into the muck. On that Sunday afternoon the temperature was in the 70s as we enjoyed the warm breezes.

By Monday evening this little fella had joined our family. We named him Matthew. The Hebrew meaning was gift of God and he was, indeed, our gift.

By Tuesday I was home from the hospital, and on Friday, when he was a whopping five days old, we drove him to Richmond to meet our family.

After living away from Richmond for 12 years, we finally moved back home to Virginia and settled in the Shenandoah Valley. Matt was 12 and, though he left friends behind, new ones were on the horizon. Today he stays in contact with all of them … the NC friends as well as the Virginia ones.

He went on to graduate from James Madison University and settled into work, then bought a home and put down roots. Thoughtful, a talented writer, ardent board gamer, and gifted musician, he has moved up the ladder of success in business as well as in life.

??????????At age three, Matt was sporting his velvet Christmas outfit.

If you’re lucky enough to have children, you’re lucky enough. Happy birthday and much love to our son who will always be my favorite little fella.

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.” Winnie-the-Pooh

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