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Stretch turns 20 today. 10 x 2. 5 x 4. 2 decades.
I do not know how this happened so quickly.
I do not know where kid went, the one who, as a toddler, would wake up incredibly early – we are talking before 5:00am here – and drag me out of bed to play with his “guys” (his little plastic football players).
I do not know where that same kid who wanted to play every sport imaginable for as long as the days, weeks and seasons would last has gone.
I do not know where the boy who would sit in front of a computer screen playing “Backyard Football” hour-after-hour has run of to or where the kid who was sure he was going to be an NFL wide receiver or tight end has flown.
I have been looking for the guy who sat next to me at the conclusion of a frigid cold, heartbreaking Denver Bronco loss with a tear literally freezing running down his cheek.
Likewise, I have been searching out the student who sometimes asked me to read his papers and asked for help on his homework.
High and low I have sought the 6 foot 7, red robe wearing graduate I hugged as he walked across a special stage.
What I have found in these searches – what I have found with this new 20/20 vision of Stretch now that he is 20 – is a young man on his way to adulthood. Well on his way.
I have found a young man upon whom others rely.
I have found a young man who cares deeply about his world and those around him.
I have found a prayerful young man, a passionate young man, a smart young man.
I have found a young man who it is both honor and privilege to call “son.”
And I have found just how lucky we, his bonus mom, his brother and sister and I are that he is in our family.
Happy birthday, Stretch. Many, many, many returns.