At 6:20 p.m. 21 years ago – September 22, 1993 – I met someone for the first time who would change my life forever.
My son. Brandon Lee Beliveau.
By far, he is THE BEST thing that has ever happened to me. Ever.
Yes, there have been moments where we don’t get along, but let me tell you, they are few and far between. I was blessed, unlike MY mother. My son is truly a great person. Not saying I am not a great person, but let’s just say as a teenager, I may have put more than a few gray hairs on my mom’s head! (Right, mom?) The teenage years with Brandon were, for the most part, uneventful. Okay, maybe he didn’t want to do homework, but what teenager does? Right?
Yes, we always want more for our children and more out of our children. But I have to say, my son has done pretty well in his 21 years of living. I love him with all my heart and soul and wish him the happiest of birthdays today and every birthday. Here are 21 facts about my son that you may know or may not know. And, a picture (yes, just one even though I have thousands!) from every year of the past 21 years.
BRANDON LEE BELIVEAU
1. He really isn’t named after anybody, although his grandma’s name is Leona (Lee) and Bruce Lee’s (action movie actor) son is Brandon Lee. Brandon was the name his dad and I actually agreed on. He was supposed to be Brody, but someone, who shall remain nameless, kept chanting, “Grody Brody!”
2. He was a very happy baby – only cried when something was wrong. He smiled ALL THE TIME!
3. Loved Mickey Mouse (or maybe I loved Mickey Mouse) and most of the Disney characters. His favorite as he got older turned out to be Stitch from Lilo and Stitch. He still has a Christmas stocking of Stitch that we bought from Disney World. Although he finally did stop using two years ago!
4. Always smiled in front of the camera. Loved having his picture taken (I think he actually still does!)
5. Loved Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. He still has more than 100 of them tucked away in a closet or somewhere. (Maybe that’s where his infatuation with cars came from!)
6. Loved Pokeman. Actually, I don’t even think love is a strong enough word. He was OBSESSED with Pokeman. I think he owned dang near every single card and toy and whatever else Pokeman came in. He might actually still have some Pokeman cards tucked under his bed. Hmmmmmm?
7. Lost his first tooth before I even knew a tooth was loose. There was a kid at his daycare that had a wiggly tooth and Brandon wanted to have a wiggly tooth so he kept wiggling it until it came out. Him and that kid lost their first tooth together. And it was the same tooth in each of their mouths. Crazy kid! I think at one point he had four or five teeth all out at the same time. He loved pulling out his own teeth. I never had to pull one out for him.
8. Didn’t really care much about clothes. (Boy has that changed!) He wore whatever I bought him. Although he was partial to Old Navy. Was probably his favorite place to get clothes. I knew if I bought it at Old Navy it was safe. He wore anything as long as it said Old Navy on it. As for shoes, he has ALWAYS been a Nike kid, well for the most part. But truly, he didn’t really care what anybody else wore. I probably cared enough for him!
9. Started wearing glasses in second grade. He always sat close to the television and I would always tell him to move away from it, that he didn’t have to sit so close. I didn’t realize it was because he couldn’t see it. I kind of felt like a horrible mom when I found out he needed glasses. In all the years he wore glasses, he never lost a pair and I think he only broke a pair once. When he turned 18, I let him get Lasik eye surgery. I had it done and it was the best thing I ever did. I wanted him to be free of glasses and contacts because I knew what a pain they were.
10. Loved reading. This is definitely past-tense. There was a period of time, where you didn’t see him without a book. He loved to read and was very good at it. He was very advanced when it came to reading. I remember the first time he read The Foot Book from Dr. Seuss without any help from me. This was his favorite book. Turned out he actually couldn’t really “read” it, he actually had it memorized. But, he still was a very good reader. LOVED IT. I wonder what happened?
11. Was the best kid ever on our trip to Disney World. Brandon and I were gone for about 10 days on a trip – the first six days we were by ourselves, just the two of us. The last four days, when we were at Disney World, Al joined us. The first six days of the trip were probably the best six days I ever spent with Brandon. It was just the two of us, for the most part, we did visit some family when we were in Florida. Brandon and I got to swim with dolphins, went snorkeling and sailing. It was THE BEST trip ever. I probably have more and better memories than he does. It was a trip I will never forget. Best bonding time.
12. Went through phases with his hair. Had it highlighted a couple of times. Also, wore braces for what seemed like forever. Too bad he never wore his retainer! I think he actually liked wearing braces, at least I don’t remember him ever complaining about it.
13. Loves football, track (discus and shot put), golf and swimming. These were the four sports he participated in in school. Track was the only one he did 7th grade through 12th grade. Football he did 6th grade through 11th grade, swimming he did 7th and 8th grade and golf, he only did one year, maybe 7th grade. Still has a love for track – throwing anyway. For the past two years, he has been the coach for the middle school throwers. And will continue again this year. He plans on becoming a coach and teacher someday.
14. When he was younger, if you asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, there were a variety of answers – dentist, used car salesman, police officer, janitor and magician.
15. Loves to read jokes. Loves to joke around. Loves to jokes. Has the best laugh in the world. When he laughs, he eyes sparkle and twinkle.
16. Got his first car from his dad for his 16th birthday. Since then, has bought and sold (mostly on his own) probably close to two dozen vehicles. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you how many vehicles the kid has owned. Cars/trucks are his passion. His love. His life. His hobby. Like father, like son. It’s a bond they share that I will never understand, but never have a need to. Even though it may seem like it annoys me at times, I am happy for them that they share this passion! This is something they will share for life.
17. Is a goof ball. And I love every minute of it. And will try and capture it on camera every single time. Has the best sense of humor, although it can be sick and twisted at times. And I probably shouldn’t admit this, but that is a bond he and I share. And I love it! We both have twisted minds sometimes!
18. Has the most beautiful blue/gray/green eyes I have ever seen. They change with his moods, what he’s wearing and the weather.
19. Graduated in 2012. Hated school, but still managed to graduate. This was one of the proudest moments for me. I bawled like a baby when he crossed that stage and got his diploma. And so did his dad!
20. Has worked at Doolittles for nearly five years. And now, just started working at Depot, as well. Likes working at both of them and does very well. Goes by the name Brandon, Brando, Bran man, Bran, Brandito and probably many more!
21. Even though we have our moments where we both want to wring each others necks, I have to say I have the best kid around. Of course, I am partial. But, he is a sweet, pleasant, caring, loving, courteous, well-mannered, respectful (most of the time!), sometimes cocky, hardworking, funny, strong, lovable, handsome, charming, dependable (for the most part!), fit, helpful, athletic, protective and just all-around great guy. I wish and want nothing but the best for him. I love him with all my heart even though there are times I want to pull my hair out. But that’s what being a mom is all about and I wouldn’t want it any different. I love being Brandon’s mom and nothing will ever change that. Here’s to you, Brandon, happiest 21st birthday! Stay true to who you are and always go after your dreams – follow your heart, but use your head. Always strive for happiness, don’t settle for being content. And may all your wishes come true!