200/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. It’s a milestone – gratitude post 200 and on what day?? My son’s 16 birthday! It was fated to be! There are a few gratitude posts I’ve been looking forward to composing and this one is at the top of the list. I absolutely love my son. Yes, like any other teenager he drives me crazy and has tested me quite well over the last couple of years but that’s what having a teenager is all about as I, too, am experiencing growth through him. When we were first pregnant with him, I wanted a daughter only for the mere fact that I grew up with all sisters and aunts, the cousins around my age were all girls and I already had a daughter. I was scared of being a dad to a boy as I didn’t know if I would be “manly” enough – masculine, sports-minded, showing him the things he needed to know etc (yes, I fell into the gender binary stereotypes). However, just a few months before he was to be born, I remember telling my wife that I wanted a boy. She was surprised but not as surprised as I was – I realized that I needed and wanted a son. A son would be the thing that would get me outside my comfort zone but he would also fulfill me. Well, the son I was gifted with was off the scales – sports minded, uber-masculine, tall (was in the 100th percentile for his height every single time), popular, intelligent and kind to others. He is the antithesis of me and for a brief moment, I wondered if we were going to be a tv movie of the week because of a hospital baby mix-up but yes, he does look like me 😉 He also proved to me that it is not nurture – in his case it is mostly nature. Who he is and will be is all inside of him – his environment (namely me) can give him certain things but all his interests are sprouting because of some innate drives so my parenting is secondary to his true essence. Everyday I am thankful that I have him as my son. Because of him, I have learned (okay, know a little) about hockey, have been re-introduced to 50 Cent and newer rappers, share the pleasure in watching “our” shows, force him to do things he wants to but won’t admit and generally just enjoy our atypical father-son bond. To Ethan, you are an awesome young man and so glad you are my son! Love you!