My dearest, Tanner…
This year has been a wild one and I believe that is putting it lightly. Between diving into homeschooling and then making the decision to move, living in your grandmother’s home for four months while we finalized plans and now embarking on a complete life change as we leave Phoenix and find home in Tennessee. I mean, I don’t know other kids well enough to know how they would have handled this all, but you have shown such strength and maturity. Well beyond your years and it has been amazing to watch as your mother.
Within the walls of our home, we knew the inspiration and feelings we had in moving. And we have said all along that while we don’t know what is waiting for us out there, we were being pulled. And that no matter what happens, it will be a learning and growth experience.
Tanner, your growth over the past six months has put me on my knees time and time again, thanking God that I have your example for my other children to look up to. On the outside people know you as the funny gentleman who acts like a thirty-five-year-old stuck in a thirteen-year-old’s body. However, there is another side to you that is the most inspiring of all.
I have seen you call our family to prayer in times of worry, fear or doubt. I have seen you serve and lift others. I have seen you be a friend to someone who might not have another. I have seen you serve your family and siblings in ways that are far beyond your years. I have seen you intuitively know what another might need.
Tanner, I will never know how I got so lucky to be called as your mother. It is a calling that I feel I fall short of more often than not, but I will never wake a day in my life and not thank my Heavenly Father for allowing me the opportunity and another day to try and get it right. Thank you for teaching me over the last thirteen years. Thank you for filling our home with laughter, with energy and with strength. Thank you for everything you are.
Remember, don’t ever worry about dimming your light to make others feel more comfortable. You are meant to do great things and inspire. I may not know much, but I do know that.
Happy Birthday, my sweet Tanner.
With every piece of me and more….
(Take a look back at Tanner’s 12th birthday, 11th birthday, 10th birthday, 9th birthday and 8th birthday)
birthday letter, raising kids