“Dad, can we stop by Old Navy? I need some nice clothes.” This might seem like a normal request to some, but not for my second born son, who, according to our neighbors, regularly sat on our roof last year watching cars go by in a giraffe onesie. No – appearances have never held much weight for him. But lately, he seems to care a bit more about what he wears… and how he acts… and that he is relatively clean. He even asked me if I liked the shirt he picked out. [Quite uncharacteristic to solicit opinions.] Okay, a girl recently entered the picture, but the point is my boy is growing up.

Twenty-one years ago today, Micah made quite the entrance into the world, and since that time, he has taught me much. Today, he reminds me of the lesson that different developmental stages do not always unfold at the same rate. Micah’s cognitive clock was advanced, but his social and emotional development ran at a much slower speed. Now, all evidence indicates we are playing catch up. He seemed to have advanced several years in about the last six months.

You can’t force maturity, and trying to will only result in frustration for all involved. It will happen when it happens. From my vantage point, it is worth the wait. Happy Birthday, Micah. You make your father proud. And yes, I do like your new shirt – and even the shoes that match.