Dear McKay,


Well, my boy, you are now 14.

As I've thought about what I'd like to tell you in this birthday letter, I am drawn time and time again to the contrast between you and the person I was at 14. I was snarky, sarcastic, angry, and insecure. I took every opportunity to buck the rules laid upon me, and resented the grown up people in my life. I was rebellious and unhappy.

The greatest thrill of my life is that you are, in every single way, the complete opposite of what I was then. You are happy, kind, sweet, and confident. You love and adore the parentals in this house and look forward to time spent together as a family. You obey the rules religiously, and bring logical well-planned arguments for our consideration when you think rules should be altered. Quite honestly, we usually agree with your logic, and make changes accordingly.

Though we don't tell you often enough, we are proud as punch for the maturity you show in times like these. You make it nearly impossible to tell you no, kid.

And you leave me wondering what I ever did to deserve you.


Right now, you are obsessed with all things basketball. Almost every item on your birthday wish list was basketball related. You have a routine after school each day, and you follow it rain or shine. After guzzling a large glass of milk, you head out to the back yard and shoot some hoops. I think it helps you to clear your head and unwind before the chore of homework begins.

What brings a smile to my face is that most days I look out the window and see you with your brother or sister, offering pointers, and cheering them on from the sidelines, rather than shooing them away to focus on yourself.

It's not the game that matters. It's the people who play alongside you that count. A lesson, sweet boy, that we are all learning from you.

Mack, your heart is pure gold.


As you grow into a man, which I know is bound to happen whether I like it or not, I hope you will take this knowledge and lock it deep inside your heart: There is not a day goes by that I don't thank god for sending me you. You are truly a noble soul. Your sweetness of spirit is infectious and brings joy to all those around you. You are quick to laugh, especially at yourself, and so easy to love.

You make me smile each and every day.


Thank you for showing me just how fantastically wonderful teenage boys can be.

I love you, my little KcKay. And I always will.


Love, Mami