A Boy. A Teen. A Birthday.

IMG_3021Those of you with teens know how it is, people exclaiming how hard life must be raising a kid within the realm of disobedience, rebellion, and all together a know-it-all attitude. A kid who doesn’t care about much, except themselves.

Well, I am here to say: Not in my household, not with my kid.

(Ok, ok, I admit nobody is perfect, there are days…… but today’s writing isn’t about that.)

Because today I celebrate Bradford Ramon Antonio. Today, he turns 15 years old.

Brad defies the term of what many people describe a teenager to be.

He is very conscientious, well-mannered, respectful, helpful, polite, inquisitive, and very aware. He’s a conversationalist, open to any discussion. Brad talks about his day, his life, his dreams, desires, and overall hopes about not only his future but the future of our world.

I am his mom.

And I am here to report.

Brad isn’t simply a teenager. He’s much more than that. His voice is as valid as mine. His perspective on life is his own. And like any teen, he simply wants respect, to feel valued and heard. To know that he is surrounded by love. Love of family, friends, and a joyful life. He wants to believe that when he falls there will always be someone to help him up.

Brad is a boy. Mentally and physically working his way through his teen years. Learning. Trying. Expressing. Enjoying. Succeeding.

And so today, today is the day, to say,

Happy Birthday, to the one and only, Bradford Ramon Antonio!



He stood there. Looking at her. And she stood there. Looking at him. I thought you were going to do it, her friend challenged her. So she leaned in and kissed him. On the cheek. And, well, he returned the affection, kissing her cheek, gently. Then she and her friend walked away. She slowly turned back, toward him. And smiled. He smiled back.

Not five minutes had passed when she returned. She stood in front of him. They looked at each other. Go on, her friend encouraged. She closed her lips. Puckered them. And closed her eyes. He responded. He, too, formed his lips into a kissable formation. But he didn’t close his eyes. He wanted to see it happen. Their lips carefully pressed against each other. And, slowly, they backed away from one another. He looked at her. He smiled. She looked at him. She smiled. And then, again, she walked away with her friend. Never looking back. He watched her go. A dreamlike expression plastered on his face.