Xander at fifteen– just show up

I’m writing this today with the heavy knowledge my friend Andrea’s son passed away at 6:30 this morning.
But this is why we celebrate our children– each year, each day, the glorious gift of just their presence on this earth. 
I’ll never forget my friend Judi standing at her son’s funeral, she addressed the children in the audience. “I’m going to tell you one of your parents’ great secrets. You know all the fuss they make about your grades and making the team and getting awards?” Her eyes swept through the room as she noted the many children and teenagers filling the chapel.
“This competition, this drive to measure up: It’s all a show. Your parent’s are in love with you anyway. From the moment you were born they adored you — all you had to do was show up.”

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Darling Xander, you’ve blessed our lives with so much energy, beauty and creativity. Thank you for showing up.

We celebrated in typical Xander fashion: fire, explosions, laughter. In addition to the usual popping balloons, dry ice, diet coke/mentos bombs and sparklers, we added a volcano and microwaving Dove soap (though I think everything microwaved at our house will taste like soap for the next year).

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One box of peanut butter cups to share– one to hoard.

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New scriptures. The ones he received at age eight didn’t have tabs, and as everyone knows, tabs are important (especially in the Old Testament). The church just came out with an updated set last fall and he’s the first among us to own them. A note from Stefan:

Well, happy birthday Xander. Mom tells me that you’re reading your scriptures all the time. That’s great. That is one of the great things that has made such a difference in my life. Having that time every day that keeps you anchored in truth helps you become who you really want to be and helps you know what you really want. It helps you keep your priorities straight. 
You turn 15, 50, or 80, your life changes countless times, but the scriptures stay the same. All outside voices change and confuse, but we have truth rooted in the eternities. So keep it up. I moved to BYU, to college, where a lot of people lose their faith. But I was fed by the good word of God every day, so leaving the truth was never even an option. As my Peter answered the Savior’s question of whether his disciples would leave him, “Whither shalt we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”
That’s why I read the scriptures. Because I want eternal life. I know the scriptures will always lead us back to our Father and help us fulfill His will in our lives. We will be able to become like Him and live forever with Him. People talk about the scriptures as instructions, which is true, but I think of them fairly often as a source of power. When we read His word, He helps us to fulfill them in our lives. Have a great year.
Love, Stefan 
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(trying to hold Mary back from blowing out his candles– if you remember last year….)

Happy Birthday Xander! We love you so!

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  1. thatgoodpart

    February 7, 2014

    I love this post, just like I love all of the others.

    Happy Birthday Xander. 🙂 You don’t know me, but I feel like I know you and your family. You’ve got a good one!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and example online. They are examples to me.

    With that said, I’m going to follow your example. I’m going to get off the computer, clean, plant some flowers with my kids (we plant flowers in February down here in AZ), and love every second of it (good or bad).

  2. Tracy

    February 8, 2014

    Oh I love this so much – and that’s Astrid’s favorite song right now.

    Happy happy birthday! xoxo

  3. Lizzy

    February 8, 2014

    Microwaving Dove soap? Should we try? Happy Birthday Xander! We love you!

  4. Cath

    February 10, 2014

    Happy Birthday Xander! A boy worth celebrating to be sure! And LOVED the video. The song. The happy. M – your kids have no doubt you adore them for showing up. xoxo

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