Sunday, November 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Keaton!

We celebrated Keaton's 23rd birthday with dinner at a hibachi grill.  Yum!  The chef was pretty spectacular and if I attempted using any kitchen utensil like he did, I'd end up with a black eye and/or a concussion.

Because it's Keaton, we (of course) had another birthday celebration with the family.  We enjoyed a seafood feast and finished his birthday celebration with a peanut butter ice cream cake.  23. Years. Old. Holy cow!

We're so proud of the intelligent, kind, loving, considerate, funny, thankful, handsome, thoughtful, responsible person he's become.  We never had any doubts of the person he'd become when we looked at him for the first time. Being Keaton's parents has been the greatest joy of our lives. I actually had a family member tell me last night that having an only child isn't really parenting.  Wow.  That really hurt. I think Matt and I were, and are, great parents. Keaton has always been our top priority and it's always been our job to support him; to encourage him; to teach him the difference between right and wrong; to know when to help him and when to let him help himself; to laugh with him; to wipe away his tears; to listen to him; to challenge him; to document his every waking moment (or just about); to teach him to always help others; to always tell him how much we love him. We always planned to have more children.  It wasn't the hand dealt to us.  So, we accepted what was and have always been so thankful for the gift we were given. I think we raised a good child because we made sure he always felt safe and loved. I think we raised a good child because we were involved parents, always volunteering at school and in the community.  I think we raised a good child because we made his education a top priority.  I think we raised a good child because we were firm and old-fashioned at times, not always letting him do what all the other kids were doing or trying to be "cool" parents. (We didn't allow him to have any friends in the car when he first got his license for six months.  We gave him rules and a curfew and expected him to abide by them. We didn't approve of the parties where parents allowed drinking. We didn't let him drive if the roads were really bad...and living in west MI, we get a lot of ice and snow.  Nothing earth-shattering to us, but apparently old-fashioned parenting.)  I think we raised a good child because we were his parents and not his friends.  That's parenting...regardless if it was one child or a dozen.