Something happens when a kid turns 16, and it’s probably because, back in my day, 16 was how old you had to be to get your license. I couldn’t wait to turn 16 and experience the freedom of the road that my parents did. This was a few measly years before the internet, which now gives most kids everything they need without the messiness of having to put their phones down and steer. As it was then, so it is now — 16 is like crossing a line. It is the evening hour of the day we call childhood.
We sang a song and ate cake. Sure, it was cheesecake, but cheesecake qualifies. This means that, yes, Carter is 16. He is officially 16 years old.
Carter is not officially mine. No. Carter tragically lost his dad, and there’s no filling that spot. I’m not his dad, but I am his Adam, and I’ll always look after him as I do my other kids, because that’s what I’d want a man to do if I were suddenly gone. It’s not a position I take lightly. I am honored to be Carter’s Adam, and I’m glad to have a Carter. It’s pretty fun, actually.
So, today, if you have a moment, wish my Carter a Happy Birthday. He gets super embarrassed by all the attention, but it’s good for him. It lets him know he’s loved, appreciated, that Brittany and I are proud, and that he matters. Everyone needs to feel special on their birthday.
Carter is special because
1) he’s brilliant, and can destroy all of us at chess without even having to think
2) he has dance moves that put all of us to shame — there’s just no point to trying to keep up
3) he’s funny and knows how to crack me up — and I hate laughing (just kidding)
4) he has moments where he’s the sage of the family, bringing just the right wisdom at just the right time
Happy birthday, Carter! I thank God for the privilege of watching you take steps toward manhood. I’ll do my best to be what you need. Know that I love you and I’m proud of you. Also, I just wanted to say, I know most people won’t get it, but you will, when I say:
Also, Amongst Us.