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Happy Birthday Cole! 15 Things I Learned Raising This Boy (So Far)

PicMonkey CollageHappy Birthday Cole!
15 Things I Learned Raising This Boy (So Far)

Today is a really big day for me. Well I guess not as big for me as it is for my son, Cole, who turns 15 today.

Honestly I can’t believe it; that little guy who took his time getting here (though more prompt than his sister) and has been setting his own agenda ever since. 

It’s funny, when I was pregnant with Casey I thought for sure we were having a boy (I did not find out the sex of either child). But in all, nearly 40 weeks with Cole, I had no idea if he was a boy or a girl. He surprised us totally… something he’s been doing ever since.

So here are 15 things I’ve learned raising this boy (so far).

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BE LOYAL

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This was Night-night bear, Cole’s favorite friend in his early days. He loved Night-night right up until he met his untimely demise along a lonely stretch of Florida highway. Cole was insistant that we go back over that highway several times after Night-night escaped from the convertible where Cole, against his better judgment, was throwing him into the air as the car traveled at 55 miles per hour. That bear has now been replaced by friends and family to whom is he also fiercely loyal.

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BE LOVING

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One of the things I love about Cole is the easy relationship he has with his sister, Casey. It’s obvious they care deeply for each other, sometimes walking in sync, one loosely holding he other’s hand. As a parent, that’s very comforting to know they’ll be there for each other, even after we’re gone.

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BE KIND

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One of the coolest things I see in Cole is his tender heart, especially for animals. Unfortunately that extended to the box turtle we found living in the bottom of our pool after we drained it at winter’s end. No, we did not keep it.

Read more: The GEM Debate: Should Dads Step Away From The Desk?

HUMOR WILL SAVE YOU

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I’d like to think he got it from me, but wherever it came from, it’s an assest. Laughter (and the ability to laugh at oneself) will take him far in life.

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A GENUINE SMILE
WILL GET YOU PLACES…

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Cole’s motto? They’re free so go ahead and give them away.

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….SO WILL A ZEST FOR LIFE

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 This is one of those things I hope Cole always retains. When life gets tough, remembering the good will get you through the bad.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: Trying To Reinvent? The Three Things You MUST Do On The Path To Success

GO HARD OR GO HOME

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I really, REALLY love this picture. Buff and Cole traveled to Portland, OR to take part in the Nike Young Athlete Innovation Summit (I was at Disney so couldn’t accompany him). Before they left, I told Cole that dad had never been on a blogger campaign so he had to be the one to show him how it was done; taking pictures, learning, giving it your all. That’s just what he did.

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PURSUE A PASSION

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Cole is a musician, and a damn good one. Some of it comes naturally; some of it is just plain ol’ gettin’ in there and practicing. It’s paying off too, which means I’ll be able to recoup some of the money we spent on lessons.

I hope.

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…EVEN IF IT’S CARBS

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I have NEVER seen someone enjoy food more. Good, cheap food in copious quantities. You know that whole, “eat you out of house and home” thing? Yeah. That.

10 From GEM: 10 Cheap And Easy Staycation Ideas

DON’T FAKE THE FUNK

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There are people in this world who can tell you exactly how you feel without saying a world; it shows on their face. Good, bad or indifferent, that is my son.

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BE DOGGEDLY
DETERMINED

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Again, another part of Cole I love. Except when he’s determined to find a way out of homework or household chores.

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BE FLEXIBLE

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Cole’s birthday was yesterday. This piece is going up today. I hate that I have been so busy I couldn’t get it up on his actual birthday and told him so. He said, “It’s okay, mom.” While he is singularly focused on many tings, there’s also a very easy-going quality to him.

Read more: Good Enough Mother: How I Hit The Brink And Made My Way Back

BE PRESENT

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Cole lives in the moment and that’s good and bad. Bad because getting him to plan is like Mostly good though..

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BE ACCEPTINGIMG_3176

Cole is not only accepting of people but also of situations that he can’t really do much about. Like getting trapped in a sudden rain at Disney’s Epcot. What a you gonna do? Throw a paper over your head and make the most of it.

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BE YOU

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But this….. THIS is the awesome-sauce that is Cole. He is who he is. He doesn’t try to change and makes no bones about it. You like him or you don’t and if you don’t, well that’s okay by him too. I wish I could bottle that up and sell it.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: The Career Block And Tackle And Why You MUST Do It!

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That’s what I’ve learned so far.. and so far, it’s been a pretty wild ride. I love this kid for those reasons and so much more. Looking forward to the next 15 years..

I think.

Love you Cole!

More from GEM:

Who Are You? 5 Reasons You Need A Personal Brand

Hey Mom! How ‘Bout You Just.Say.No?

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