Josh Turns 16

Dear Josh,

Yay! You are a driver! Both you AND I are very excited about this newfound independence. I love watching you learn and grow, make mistakes, and have awesome successes. From hiking a few 14ers, to summiting an active volcano, I’d say it’s been a pretty exciting year.

You love to hang out with your friends online and can usually be found in your room at your computer. We love listening to all the random screaming and laughter that emerges. You also love to come home from school and “doom scroll” on the couch. You get up so early for seminary, have hard classes, just finished a tennis season–it’s a lot! I’m proud of the way you handle yourself.

It wasn’t your favorite tennis season this year. Between having no upperclassmen on the team, moving up to 5A, and having a partner you didn’t really like, it was rough. Thank you for showing fortitude in sticking it out. It’s hard to know what to do when things get so tough. Trust yourself, take a good look inside and you’ll know what to do.

You are loving taking the truck to get drinks or food after school. You and your friends even went to Costco for lunch once or twice this semester. I also think there was a sneaking out of Net and Target during finals week….

School has been going pretty well. You are excelling in your classes, but sometimes get overwhelmed with all the work required. You have such a smart and active brain. I think you’ve had more fun this year hanging out with buddies in your classes and working on projects together.

On your birthday you skipped school and we went in search of the best hash browns in Boulder. We wanted to try 3 places, but our tummies could only handle two. Walnut Cafe and Parkway Cafe. Despite all the reviews we read, I feel like we did not find the perfect hash brown. But we DID find the perfect banana nut waffle. It was delicious. Then it was off to the DMV to get your license. Unlike your permit, this time was super easy. We were way early for our appointment (like 2 hours) and thought they might make us wait, but they got us right in. On the DMV website, it gave a list of all the documents that were required to get a license. I spent like an hour printing utility bills, making copies of birth certificates, making sure I had my ID, and then the DMV asked for exactly NONE of it. Weird. With License in hand, we drove home for presents and cake. Good day!

Josh, we love you so much. You have a kind and grateful heart and have the capacity to make a difference in this world. I want to give you some advice I heard recently: “Don’t be a consumer, be a creator.” Create the life you want. It will require hard work and a lot of engagement, but you are capable of so much. It’s easy in this digital world to just consume and consume. I think this leads to a lot of low energy and distracted people. Don’t be one of them. We are so proud of you and can’t wait to walk through this next year together. There will be highs and lows, but through it all, we have each other.

Love, Mom

We pulled off an epic surprise for Josh’s birthday party. He’d been having a hard time trying to decide what he wanted to do. So, I kind of just dropped the subject and Rusty and I started secretly planning a surprise party. We recruited Adam to help with the guest list. We reserved a table at Dave and Busters, and then waited for the day to arrive. To get him out of the house I took Josh with me to pick up Dash from the groomer. Of course, Dash wasn’t quite ready, so we had to wait. It made us later than we expected to get home, but it all worked out. He was SO surprised. And it was so fun to see. I can’t believe that many teenagers kept a secret! I was so proud. I knew I was going to regret those confetti poppers (it took me like 45 minutes to vacuum it all up) but it added to the festivities. We all jumped in the cars and headed to Dave and Busters. We picked a Tuesday night so all games were 1/2 price. We ordered a bunch of appetizers, gave them their game cards and off they went! Even teenagers don’t outgrow taking FOREVER to spend their tickets at the end of the night. We came home and opened presents. Brooke knitted him a scarf! And in keeping with their ongoing tradition, Adam’s gift was notoriously hard to unwrap. Not only that, but after every layer Josh had to answer a trivia question. My favorite was, “What is the Wixom family motto?” The answer was, “Manners Maketh the Man.”

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