15 years ago this morning, our son Jason called .... with the news that he and his girlfriend Cara were the proud parents of a son, whom they named Joshua Darien.
Jason and Cara were only 19 when Cara got pregnant, but they were good kids who loved each other and wanted to make it work. They separated a few years later, and Cara went on to re-marry a man who shared custody of his two daughters, and then together they had another little girl -- so Joshua ended up growing up with three sisters. He's always lived here on the Island, though, and over the years, has come to spend time with Jason and the rest of the family when he can.
(Joshua is also the reason I quit smoking. I was a two-pack-a-day-er when Jason and Cara -- avid NON-smokers -- found out about the pregnancy. I decided, right then, that if I was going to have a positive relationship with my first grandchild, I needed to be a non-smoker -- so I became one before he was born!)
In spite of the rough start in his life, and the twists and turns since, he's had a lot of love in his world (kudos here to Cara, and Chris and Cara's grandparents 'Nanny' and 'Papa', and Jason ... and many more folks!), and Joshua is now turning into a young man ... and a really nice young man, at that. He's an awesome big brother, a wonderful cousin for River and Gibson ... and just a real pleasure to be around!
(This picture was taken a few years ago, but it's still one of my favorites, and I don't seem to have a decent, more recent, one.)
Happy, happy birthday, Joshua -- we love you and we're proud of you!