Happy Birthday, Lincoln

It was 15 years ago today, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.

Brandon and I drove down the gravel roads into Bartlesville at 2:00 a.m. Lincoln was born at 6:39 a.m. and we made the trip back to the ranch at about 10:30 a.m. When we got home Brandon planted a Colorado Spruce in the front yard of the little bunkhouse we were living in, friends and family dropped by to see us, and we spent the day marveling at how beautiful Lincoln was.

I also remember the bliss of those first months as new parents. Yes, there was some uncertainty (Why is he crying? Is he hungry? How do I clip his fingernails?), but mostly what I remember was the slow pace of living out in the country and loving every single minute of being a mom. There were long walks pushing Lincoln in the jogging stroller along the bumpy gravel roads, seeing grandparents almost every day, watching Lincoln sleeping on Brandon's chest, and sitting in the rocking chair rocking the boy for hours at a time.

And when I would be out and about in town with Lincoln I would hear over and over from older moms, "Enjoy them while they're young. They grow up so fast." I know each time I heard this I probably smiled and agreed, but I didn't realize then how true it was. I didn't realize that one day I would be rocking Lincoln while he slept on my shoulder, and then I would blink and he would be 15.

Today our blond-haired, blue-eyed firstborn is 15. He has grown into a godly young man. He is strong and independent but also gentle and kind. He is a diligent student and a protective, loving older brother. He is a competitive athlete and a loyal friend.

Clarence Thomas, in his touching new memoir, says his son "has always been a better son than I deserved. I have loved him since I first set eyes on him, and will do so until my last breath."

Happy birthday, Lincoln.

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