Charlie’s 20th!

Twenty years ago, on April 10th, he emerged from within and changed our lives forever.  5 1/2 weeks premature, he was “Boy Hill” for days…but then we knew, Charles Alexander it was…he was “Charlie”, after my much beloved grandpa, his deceased great-grandfather–a man whose bear hugs, personality and love of music Charlie inherited and whose birthday is only a day later…Charlie did you know…

Immediately we shifted priorities, lifestyle, plans for the future.  Young and clueless, we fumbled and stumbled, it wasn’t pretty.  He was a bright light in a messy marriage and a motivator to figure it out…his smiles and charm took our breath away, they still do.

Two years later the light doubled: Emily, his sister, was born.  Even as an infant, Charlie took to her.  Bending over, diaper sticking out the top of his pants, he’d look her in the eye, smile and say “Hi Emily” in just the sweetest 2-year-old voice you can imagine.  In many ways they were complete opposites: in temperament, outlook, modus operandi, yet fast friends they became.  Sibling spats happened–I don’t want to paint too rosy a picture–but they learned to work them out, which worked to deepen their bond.  I hope they get to attend each others 90th birthday parties…with tears in my eyes, yes I do hope…


When he was young, everyone was his friend.  Invited to birthday parties by the boatload in grade school, we knew he was connecting well with his peers and was just as much fun for them as he was for us.  Birthday gift shopping for kids I’d never met was “just the way it is” those early years.

He loves being ‘with’ and celebrating people and they with him.  Even though we cannot be with him this birthday, I know others will.  Charlie not being surrounded by loved ones on his birthday seems impossible, for if friends aren’t there he’ll just make friends with whomever is there.


I’ve noticed that even when he is down or struggling, joy is present–God is present–the light in his eyes  doesn’t waver.  Difficult days and released dreams seem to deepen that light…wisdom and knowledge grow in the crucible of his heart.  I think he knows that forever he is loved, that no matter what happens, he is loved.

Charlie has been given much: he is bright, talented, trustworthy, self-motivated, responsible, fun loving, socially proficient, emotionally intelligent and spiritually aware. His heart is open, he loves greatly.  He could choose almost any path and be true to himself in it while advancing its cause.  His leadership style emerges in relationship: he has a knack for helping those around him rise to the next level.  Many look up to him, many more than he realizes–he inspires without effort….dare I say, his parents are known to watch and take notes…

Unable to take credit for the child he was or the man he is, I simply celebrate he who has been given.  Charlie’s birthday gift to us was himself, is himself.  God kissed our life forever because…

Happy Birthday, sweet Charlie!  Momma loves you!!


3 thoughts on “Charlie’s 20th!

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