My oldest son turned twenty today. I'm having trouble even wrapping my head around that thought! How come he is twenty when I haven't gotten any older? Here's a picture of him from a couple of years ago. My husband is in the middle and Matt's to the right. They put this picture on a billboard in Madison, Alabama, to advertise my husband's painting business.
I don't know how much business we got from the billboard, but Matt got a lot of feedback from it!
This picture was taken after we moved to Florida. He hates this picture, but I happen to think he's a pretty good looking guy. Not that I'm prejudiced or anything!
So in honor of Matt's birthday today, I thought I'd give you a visual and a verbal peek at him.
Matt's creative. He's the one I go to when I want to brainstorm and spin plot ideas around. He's written (and published) several poems, and he's also pretty good as a painter. His ideas and hard work resulted in a terrific first VBS for us last year. Since then he's been working on ideas for this year's VBS. I don't think we could do it without him.
Matt's also a tough guy. He likes to lift weights and workout. He likes hunting and snorkeling and boating. He's had enough training that he's better with a gun than most average police officers.
Matt sings tenor and bass (but not at the same time.) He runs our junior church and preaches in there most Sundays. He's finished his freshman year of college and is sitting out this year to pay off debts and earn the money to go back. This has been a difficult year for him, and he struggles with being impatient to get back to school.
Matt's got a great sense of humor too. The other day my husband asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner. It was the same week we found out how much damage I did to my car, and after he left the room I wondered out loud to Matt why he would take me to dinner. Matt summed it up with typical male practicality. "Maybe he's hungry for Olive Garden and you're a convenient excuse to go."
Matt works nights as a security guard. He's supposed to stagger his shift so that some nights he goes in at five and some at seven and some at nine. This makes it very hard for him to catch up on sleep. Sometimes if his dad or I wake up during the middle of the night, we'll call him to see how he's doing. He also has standing orders to call us when he's on his way home and he's having trouble staying awake. We've told him we don't mind waking up and talking to him to keep him awake until he gets home.
Being a considerate guy, Matt doesn't usually take advantage of that. One night he was so tired he knew he wouldn't make it. So he pulled over into a mall parking lot, parked and set his phone alarm for thirty minutes. He figured that would give him enough rest to make it the rest of the way home. (He's got quite a drive.) The thing is, Matt left his car running and his headlights on. He drew the attention of some police officers who came knocking on his window. The problem is, Matt sleeps like a hibernating bear. Almost nothing wakes him up. And even after he sits up and looks around, he's not capable of functioning fully. He told us later that he flailed around in his car like a drunk, trying to find the controls to let the windows down so he could talk to the cops. He told the cops what he was doing, they ran a check on him, and then told him to shut off his car and his lights and go back to sleep. Then they parked not far from him. Matt didn't want to disobey, but the surge of adrenalin had him wide awake. He waited until they finally left and then headed home.
Another night Matt made it home, but then fell asleep in his car in the driveway. He's also made it in the house and fell asleep in the living room floor.
Matt and I have a running argument. My labor with him was long (he was 10-1/2 pounds, 22 inches long), but I never could remember exactly how long it was. I said 36 hours, he said I told him 32 hours. Last night I was on the phone with him, wishing him a happy birthday a couple of minutes after midnight. He brought up the argument so I finally did the math and agreed it actually was only 32 hours of labor. it was a great birthday present for him. He was thrilled to have finally won the argument. I say once you get past 30 hours of labor, who cares how long it was? He still owes me!
Happy birthday, Matt! I'm so glad you're a part of our family!