When Life - Happy Birthday Carter

Dear Carter,

 Wow! Can you believe it? You’re about to be 5 years old Carter!

That’s a pretty big deal. I’ve always thought of turning 5 to be this turning point of going off to big boy school and becoming more and more independent. It’s bittersweet for me to be honest. But, I’m excited for you and am looking forward to seeing where life takes you. I know you’re going to go so far in life. I’m so proud of you son.

You’re too young to read this, much less understand all that I have to say, but one day you will. I just want to remember this time and these words always. I want you to do the same.

When you have kids you will understand that sometimes thoughts float across your mind and you think I want to make sure they know this…I want to make sure I remember to tell them about a certain thing…I just look at this letter as a way to share some things that have been on my heart here lately.



You look just like your Daddy, but you act just like me. I see so much of myself in you and I must remind myself of that when we clash or argue; which surprisingly is a lot considering your age. Sometimes I’m so lost as to how I should respond to some of the things you say or do because honestly you react the same as I would. However, I have about 35 years on you and am your Mom...so...well, let’s just leave it at that.

On the other hand, I’m secretly proud of your quick thinking and fast comebacks. I get tickled with your rationale and approach towards situations. If you use this wisely, it will serve you well later.

I worry about your need for perfection as I lived that life longer than I would have liked. I pray that you find balance between your desire for flawlessness and the reality that there is no such thing. It has helped me as well as much as it’s hindered my ability to truly live. It’s only now that I’ve learned to balance the two. I hope that you can find that balance in your life also.

I love your imagination and creativity. Pursue what makes you happy, not what you think will make me or your Daddy happy. And while I really, and I stress really, hope it includes furthering your education after high school, I know that college isn’t for everyone. I will always encourage you to obtain a degree, but I have recently learned that it doesn’t matter how many certificates you have hanging in your office, it you aren’t happy every single day that you go to work then it wasn’t worth it.

Pursue your happy. Use your God given talents, and yes EVERYONE has one (or more), and serve others with that skill set. The money will follow if you are doing God’s work. It looks different for everyone, so don’t fall into the comparison trap.



Always choose community over competition. In other words, support the dreams of others. You will be successful Carter, so please share those accomplishments with those less fortunate or who are trying to find their way. You will never go broke helping others.

I know sometimes it’s hard being the middle child but feeling like you’re more the big brother. I know you understand that you’re older than Scarlett, and I see that it comes very naturally to you to protect her.

But, I see you struggle to find your place with Jack. One day I will explain to you all about Jack’s Autism diagnosis, but for now I love how you include him and treat him no differently than anyone else. He’s just Jack to you.

I know though you see things are a little different with him. And they are. He’s older and bigger than you, yes; but he needs you. He will most likely always need you. He will need you for things I may not be able to help him with. You know, guy stuff. Like right now, he watches how you play with cars and superheroes and learns from you. He waits and sees how you do certain things at the park or when riding bikes or the Batmobile. He likes the shows and movies you discover. He looks up to you and loves you a lot.



It’s hard though I’m sure finding your place in a situation like ours. Jack was around 6 when you were born and for a short while you were my only baby. That didn’t last long before Scarlett made her debut 18 months later. Between a newborn and Jack’s needs, I could sense you felt left out. Trust me when I say, I always tried to show love to all of you equally. I hope you knew and felt that.

You’re so stoic and have such a leader’s mentality that it’s so easy to get caught up in trying to work with Jack and keep up with Scarlett. Then I turn around and there you are...standing there being all grown...maybe even disciplining someone yourself; and I think to myself, “God really knew what he was doing giving you to me.”

I don’t want you to ever struggle to understand what your “role” is. You are Carter. You are unique and bright! You are smart and funny! You are a little brother and you are a big brother. But you will ALWAYS be my baby.

Happy Birthday Carter!

I love you so much,



Amanda Warnix

That’s such an awesome story and dedication to your beautiful son. Happy belated birthday Jack

When Life

Vicky – Thank you so much!

When Life

Colleen – Thank you so much! You are so sweet. It’s hard raising one that acts EXACTLY like you! :) I know you know what that is like. Thank you for all your kind words. Lots of love to you!

When Life

Wilmari – Thank you so much!


Happy Birthday sweetheart, Grandpa Bartee and I love you.

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