There are certain birthdays that hit me harder than others. . . so far the emotional ones have been 8, 12, and now 16. Jack turned 16 last week and we had a big surprise birthday party for him. I wanted to do something fun and different for his 16th birthday. I was planning on renting out a party place for wallyball, games and movie theater (to watch a sixteen year highlight DVD of Jack) when I realized we could do all of that at my parents’ house and swim. So what I had hoped would be fun and different ended up being a whole lot like all of his previous birthdays. Swimming at his grandparents. Just this year there was no pinata. I really wanted this birthday to be special and for Jack to feel the love that we have for him. And hope that Jack was able to feel that even if it was the same ol’ swimming party and cake.
Jack wanted one present for his birthday. . . an iPhone5. I promised Jack years ago that if he played the piano until he was 16 he could pick out any cell phone he wanted for his 16th birthday. And that was all the motivation he needed to keep on playing. He started piano in first grade and only took one break a few years ago. That adds up to a lot of hours and dedication over the past 9 years. He definitely earned that phone.
The night before his birthday I asked Jack what he wanted to do for his birthday (since he had decided he would take some friends boating when they all got back in town a few weeks later) and he said he wanted breakfast at Kneaders, lunch at Melty Way and dinner at Outback Steakhouse. He later decided he would rather sleep in and skip the breakfast portion of the celebration. We did make it to Melty Way for lunch with the family but that was the only one. We’ll have to take him to Outback some time before summer is over to make up for not going on his birthday.
Then I had to find somewhere for him to go while we set up for his surprise party at my parents. I sent him to a movie, Pacific Rim, with his friend, Logan and told them we would go to dinner at Outback after the movie.
My favorite part of the party was watching the highlight DVD. We waited until sunset with everyone in the pool and set up the outdoor projector and screen on the deck overlooking the valley and watched Jack’s life pass by in 30 minutes. It was an emotional project to do and even more emotional to watch. It seems just like yesterday that he was that curly headed, smart as can be, little toddler. I’m so proud of the young man he has become. And the video was a visual reminder of all of the fun times we have had together and the blessing it has been to be his Mom. He’s such a good kid, so well balanced . . . talented, funny, goofy, loving, smart, social, example, a little naughty. It all makes him who he is and who we love!
Jack 16 Years from Sealbark on Vimeo.
In honor of his 16th Birthday . . . 16 things we love about Jack.
1. He can laugh and call his friends at midnight when he finds out he didn’t pass his AP European History exam. All in a random Batman voice.
2. He grew a 2.5 inches taller this past year and is now 6’1”
3. He didn’t get his driver’s license on his 16th birthday because he waited too long to get his permit. He has to wait until September 1st to take the test. He’s having fun driving all over with me though. We need to venture out to the freeway one day soon. (I’m so not ready for this!)
4. He lettered in track as a Sophomore.
5. His latest hobby is making music videos with his friends. And they’re all a little random and weird.
6. He thought it would be funny on our last vacation to Bear Lake to leave a lasting scent in the sauna.
7. He had his first date a few months ago when he went to Prom with a group date.
8. He worked as a sweeper this past year at his high school and saved enough money to buy an iPad. Then lost his motivation to work.
9. He loves to stay up all night and sleep all day. (just like his dad!)
10. He was ordained a Priest the day after his birthday and got to bless the Sacrament for the first time with his dad this past Sunday. My kids were all thrilled by how big the pieces of bread were on the Sacrament tray.
11. His favorite activities are boating and basketball.
12. He and Ryan just discovered the greatness of Netflix and have spent most of the summer watching Lost episodes.
13. He’s a really good BIG brother. Even though he can pester his siblings just like they all do, he’s the first one to offer a piggy back ride to a younger sibling when they need an extra boost or to give a hug or love.
14. He’s a great friend and has had the same two best friends since he was 2 years old. Long lasting friendships are rare these days. I loved seeing all of the pictures in the DVD of Jack with Logan and Jace.
15. He hates to wear pants and wears shorts year round except for the few hours at church every Sunday.
16. He went with his friends to donate blood a few days ago and acted disappointed when he found out he wasn’t eligible to donate because of his vacation to Mexico last fall. Secretly, I think he was relieved and happy that he still got the Skullcandy earbuds they were giving away.
Happy 16th Birthday Jacko! We love you!