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

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

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I have to indulge a bit today since it’s my son’s birthday. In this picture he was four yeas old holding his six-month-old sister … my little buddy who arrived three weeks early on that 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 grew into a kind, industrious, hard-working young man who is now six feet tall.

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Six years old in this photo, he began playing T-ball at the age of 5, baseball at 6, and then soccer.

The weekend in 1984 had been one of those February warm spells that are common in western North Carolina. This little fella was due in March so there were no thoughts that there was an impending event about to happen as Mr. Mitchell and I spent the weekend outdoors and walking the 100-acre farm where we lived. I climbed hills that weekend and jumped across creeks, once stepping backward into mud that sucked my foot down into the muck. Mr. Mitchell joked that he had to get the tractor sling, used to lift cows out of places when they got stuck, to pull me out. Not true but good for a laugh even all these years later.

That Sunday afternoon, February 19, the temperature was in the 70s as we enjoyed the warm breezes. By Monday evening, February 20, this little fella has joined our family. On Friday, when he was a whopping five days old, we drove him to Richmond to meet his grandparents. When he was 12, we finally moved back home to Virginia.

??????????Age 3 he was sporting his velvet Christmas outfit. If you’re lucky enough to have children, you’re lucky enough.

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