In Loving Memory

  • Remembering my beloved child, Austin, who passed away at the early age of 14. He lived more in those 14 short years than most and is an inspiration to us all.

Monday, July 6, 2009

13th Birthday


Austin's 13th birthday was the year of "Big Sexy!" He would be shaking his head and his face would be red, as I know he would not enjoy me saying that.

However, that was the theme our family used to pick on him that summer. As I wrote before, he had changed, nearly overnight from a cute little boy into this handsome young man. Family, who hadn't seen him in a couple months were so surprised by the transformation.

One of his favorite colognes was Axe and he received many cans of it that year, each with us singing him the theme song from their commercial. (It is all about being sexy and picking up girls, which just validated our theme!)

I expected him to want to move to only a friend party or to go out to eat and do some type of activity for his first "teenage party" but he still wanted a family party. We did a cupcake cake that year, in the shape of a ball glove and his favorite, homemade ice cream. He wanted money, of course, for his birthday. I didn't feel right not having something for him to open though so I bought him 13 random gifts, wrapped and taped them all together. They contained sunflower seeds, a music cd, a watch, etc. Just simple things but I just didn't feel right with him only opening cards!

He used the money from his party to purchase an xbox 360. Our gift was to pay any extra he needed, pay for the live subscription and any accessories. He loved that video system! I remember watching him play, complete with the ear piece, yelling at the tv. And we would laugh at his reactions, as he played with his friends, from various towns and states.

We also had a small dinner for him that year, on the actual day of his birthday. Austin's birthday nearly always fell in the middle of the week, so the family parties were held on the weekend. Our tradition though was to make their favorite dinner and watch movies on their actual birthday. That year, he wanted to grill kabobs (and squash!) and have his grandparents over. It was a nice evening on the deck.

A house was being built that summer right behind us. As a result, a large dirt hill was created from them leveling the site. Austin and all the neighborhood kids had a lot of fun on that hill. They climbed it, rolled down it, took their bikes on it, etc. In the winter, when we had a snow, it turned into a sleigh riding machine. That was a nice change for the boys, as living in a city subdivision, hills are not common!

We had a family "Game Day" that spring and rented out a local banquet hall. The idea came from Noah's past birthday theme and everyone really enjoyed it. We brought a variety of board games, card games and even hooked up a video game system for the kids. It was a chance for distant family to come together, sort of a family reunion. Austin had a great time, as he was always a big fan of games, specifically Rook. He enjoyed watching the adults play and was thrilled when he got to join in.

For spring break that year, we went back to the Smoky Mountains. This time, we decided to stay in a hotel and do more of the touristy things. Austin enjoyed Wonder Works the most, as it was full of science, how things worked, experiments, etc. We also went into North Carolina that year and explored new parts of the mountain we hadn't in the past.

May 2008, Austin graduated 8th grade. He had again done well in school and was looking forward to the summer and entering high school that fall.

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