In the 1980's sonograms and knowing the sex of your baby before birth was pretty much unheard of. That is unless the little elderly black woman with magical powers passed you in the grocery store and leaned in close to whisper. And to me that day she said, "Congratulations, it's a boy." Sure, I thought. In my world of pink, purple, Barbie, Pretty Ponies, Strawberry Shortcake and Friends, and pink Huffy bikes......there was no absolute room for a boy. I had not ever been around boys that much. I had 2 sisters. I knew more about girls. I had never purchased a football or didn't even know how to keep score. The only men that had ever been in my life, that I loved deeply, was my Daddy and my husband. But, there was no denying when they placed that little almost 8 lb bundle in my arms that I was in love with another man. OH MY. My mind could not contain all the dreams I had for him that day. He was a most delightful baby. He bouncy, happy and all boy. Most of our friends nicknamed Mitch "Happy Boy". That was how he always was.....happy. Since, I was already in the work world by this time I had to find a sitter for him. My mother and grandmother kept him almost all the time. They were totally in love with him. My grandmother was in her very late 90's and she doted on him from sun up to sun down. Years later when we were forced to have her live in the rest home, Mitch went everyday with my mother there. He loved the old people. And they loved him. He helped the orderlies hand out supplies to the residents everyday. He rode on the cart and gave each resident a hug. To this day, he has a most special place in his heart for elderly people. We visited her everyday in the nursing home. When she lost her eyesight, she would run her fingers over his face and smile. She passed away at the age of 104 and Mitch was 6. At the funeral home he asked us to lift him up so he could see her. He stroked her hair and touched her hands. Then he wanted us to raise her up so he could see her angel wings. There is not a day that goes by that he doesn't think of her. He is kind and tender just like she was. My mom and dad adored him too. He took trips with them. He loved to go to the air base with Poppi and get a soldier haircut. They used to make contracts up with each other for school grades. Daddy liked to make sure that he applied himself educationally as well as athletically. And he was quite the entertainer. He always had us laughing. We used to say that he was born with orange blood because from the minute he could talk, gesture, or choose his wardrobe he had on TEXAS LONGHORN gear. Don't even ask me where he got that from. We had never been major sports oriented. Remember we went to ballet, tap, and had tea parties. He would wear those little football uniforms complete with helmet until the shirts and pants pulled at the seams. Then we would buy the next size and so on and so on. Every Halloween for his entire life, he was a football player. When he was 3 and could sign up for soccer he was ready. Then it was on to tball, football, and Little Dribblers. We spent the better part of 18 years in the bleachers either at the field or in the gym. I learned to keep score, I learned plays. I learned when to yell and when to shut up. Since we lived in the country he learned to entertain himself. He would kick the football across the pasture and run get it and run the other way to score. Sometimes, he would use his stopwatch and time himself in races. Then, for hours and hours he would shoot hoops. He slam dunked every door frame in this house. He dribbled the ball over every surface and ate with it in his lap. When his sisters would practice cheerleading stunts and dances he would join them in the yard. One year when he was the quarterback he was benched with an injury, he donned the TIGER SUIT and cheered with the cheerleaders. Multi talented, wouldn't you say. It wasn't long and he was back out and running down field. But, basketball was his love. He loved basketball. He was the three point man and one night during his junior year he brought the team a victory by popping 6 - 3 pointers in a row. He normally scored the highest points each game....sometimes 30 +. Yes, this mother was on her feet! And, I wonder why I have a heart condition! Slowly, the girls began growing up and one by one left home. By the time he was 9 they were both off at college. And he was an only child. But, our house by no means was quiet. He was such an easy child and I loved to be with him. We would make cookies, go to ball games, watch movies, and host all the boys out for bonfires and basketball tourneys. As well, as ATARI tournaments. He'll be the first to admit he is my baby. My favorite baby! It was so hard to pack his duffles for ACU. His high school career had been awesome. His whole school experience had gone just way too fast. I had the biggest lump in my throat the day we pulled up at ACU and so did he. I knew though that whereever he went or whatever he did he would be a success. And he is. He was a proud and handsome young man, full of positive self esteem, full of God, and full of BIG dreams. He wasn't on campus long when he noticed a beautiful and talented athlete. A softball player. That is now his wife and my daughter. They are expecting the first member of their team in June and I am assuming I am going to have to dig out my old collection of baseball shirts, etc. I don't want to be the only grandmother not supporting that team! I am so proud of him. Of his example to others. I am proud of the way he is patterning his life to be a Godly father. I love that he can cry. I love that he is so forgiving. I love how he loves his beautiful wife. I love how he calls me on his way home from work just because. We don't get to see each other very much because they live 6 hours away. But, I think of him all day and we talk almost every day. I pray for him and all my children in breathless whispering prayers all day. He will always be the best 30th birthday gift I ever received. I love you Bubs.