Boykid, 17 years ago today we were both knocking at death's door. It was terrifying. We knew we were going to give you the same name as your dad and papa but since dad used the first name and papa used the middle name, we were thinking about Trey or Tripp but we really did not know. Of course in the craziness that was ensuing at that moment, we only wanted you to breathe and keep breathing but Uncle Boy had something to say about this and he let it be known. He said, as the doctors were running with you in the incubator from one hospital to the NICU at the children's hospital, that God had granted you a second chance at life and that was what he was going to call you, Chance, and it stuck. I know that you've told me recently that more and more people are calling you by your first "given" name, but to me, you'll always be Chance, Chancey, Chancer, and Bubba. I will always call you Chance, it keeps me grounded, it makes me remember how blessed and lucky I am to have you. Those doctors, they were so scary when they were telling daddy and I all the horrible things that could be wrong with you. We were so young, we had no business being parents, but we were. Little did they know you were a scrappy little guy and fought hard to go home and turned out to be brilliant, so very far away from all of the disabilities they said you may have.
In these 17 years that I've been blessed to be your mom, you've changed me, in many ways and so many different times. I had no idea that mom's loved this way. I know you think you're grown up but I know you aren't, not quite yet, but we let you think so for the most part. It helps you to think that because you think about choices and decisions and options and we encourage you to think for yourself, even though at times, it's so very hard to parent the independent, free thinking, out spoken kids that we have raised, we would never do it differently.
You are so smart, so athletic, so "hot" (as you tell me daily LOL), kind hearted, generous, funny as fucking hell, and most of all, sweet and loving. I know you probably don't want to hear that the best thing about you is that you are sweet and loving, but it's true. It will serve you well in life to have that be a big part of you. The ability to be tough and sweet at the same time is a good benefit to have. I know it causes some heartache sometimes, but it's worth it in the long run.
We have ordered your class ring, you've been driving for a year, you are heading into your senior year of high school, and making life plans. It seems so surreal to me because it feels like just minutes ago you were born and I was dying inside waiting to hear your first cry. I worry too much and I bitch too much and I hope you can someday forgive my parenting faults and know that I always did everything from love and hope, never ever meanness, even if the tone of my voice and the words sound harsh, you need to know that tough love is always harder for the parents than the kids. One day, when you are a daddy to teenagers, you'll see.
As you get ready to grow up and leave us behind, I hope that you love with abandon, enjoy your youth, enjoy the next chapter of your life the way you should. I hope that you make different choices than we made and live life to the fullest. I hope that you go far but stay close.
And as I always tell you, listen to rock and roll, drink a little (but don't drive), smoke a little, fuck a lot (USE A CONDOM), and stay away from drugs...do it all while you're young and have no responsibilities so that when you are older with responsibilities, you do not have to wonder "what if" or "did I miss out on anything".
I love you,
Aunt Crazy aka Mom