Sweet little Ben—Today I can’t stop thinking about my first little baby, the constantly grinning, fair little boy that hardly ever cried—that sweet little guy I had to wait for seven years to finally get to see. I always had a feeling, deep down, that I would someday be able to have a baby, and I knew it would be a boy. I can’t believe it has been ten years since you came into our lives—not because it went fast, but because I can’t imagine ever living without you.
You have taught me so much, have challenged me beyond my wildest dreams, and have shown me how frightening it can be to look into another set of my own blue eyes and know that you are destined to enjoy and battle with so many of the same personal challenges and strengths I have. I know I have made an enormous amount of mistakes as your mom, but I have tried to prepare you as best I could to help all those crazy “Wise” genes play to your advantage and not become your downfall. So often when I get impatient or mad at something you’ve done or said it’s really because deep down I’m saying “Please, don’t be like me.” But perhaps, like me, some of your strength and wisdom will come from the experience and perspective that only comes from having flawed parents.
You are a handsome, bright-eyed genius, still with all the exuberance of a puppy. I hope you always keep that enthusiasm for everything. Emotional intensity has been your bequest and burden from both sides, and this will serve to make your life both more difficult and painful and more full and rewarding. Your amazing brains will do the same. Your potential is boundless, your genetic road can be treacherous, your guides are imperfect—but I know the Lord will give both us and you the wisdom to enable all of us to accomplish everything we came here to do and become what we came here to become. In fact, I know he put us all together for that very reason.
I love our talks, I love your ambition, your optimism. I love to hear about your dreams and inventions. You amaze me, you make me crazy. You really do light up my life.
Thanks so much for coming to our family and being my son. I love you so much. Happy Birthday.