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And Suddenly, He’s Almost a Man

October 14, 2019

I feel like this happened overnight.

I’m honestly in some sort of shock that this is actually happening, because it doesn’t feel real. How can my oldest baby be 17 years old today?

hes almost a man


We have one year left of childhood with our first child. How, how, how is this possible.

The little boy who was independent from the start, who loved Hot Wheels and would spend hours in the pool with me during the summers.

The little boy who refused to eat just about any fruit or vegetable unless it was well-hidden in his meals and loved nothing more than a good tickle fight.

The boy who I had to remind myself that my brother is an Apple engineer who ate nothing but bread and butter for a full year so I know Danny is going to be okay with his picky food issues, too.

The boy who was skin and bones until he turned 14 and suddenly had muscles grow overnight. The boy who grew a foot and gained 60 pounds in the span of 18 months.

The boy who came into this world at just under eight pounds now towers over me at six feet tall.

Because suddenly, he’s almost a man.

Long gone are the days where I had to worry about the little things. Now I worry about the big things – girls, cars, work, school. All the little life choices that don’t seem to matter in the moment but tell the big stories in our future. It’s here, it’s right in front me.

I worry about him. I’m proud of him. I love him fiercely. I want to cage him and protect him, but at the same time I want him to soar and fly at the heights I know he’s capable.

Because suddenly, he’s almost a man.

Danny is 17 today.

I had these same feelings of fear and angst when I turned 29. There’s something about it being the last of something that bothers me, instead of the firsts. When he’s 18, I’ll have gotten it out of my system just like I did when I turned 30 (at least, I pray to God that I’m not a wreck like this next year).

I worry that I’ve done the best I can to prepare him for adulthood and the real world.

That I’ve imparted enough wisdom to him on how to be a good friend and a good citizen.

That he’s learned that he’s capable of anything, so long as he believes in himself.

It’s scary, because motherhood is such a monumental task. My days of living in survival mode with four babies and toddlers are long gone but now the real tough part is ahead of me: trusting that I’ve done the best that I can to raise an incredible human being.

And I think I’ve done a fantastic job with this one.


Danny, you are everything I could ask for in a child of mine – loving and kind, the best friend someone could ask for, fiercely loyal to those you love and protective of their trust. You’re the one people come to when they feel down, because they know you’ll be there for them in a safe space you’ve created. You’re learning what it is to be a responsible adult and a good Christian man.

You’ve made your dad and I so proud over the years. So, so proud.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy.




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Heyyyy ... I'm Ashley Durham and I'm a luxury wedding photographer in Phoenix, but I travel all over Arizona and the desert southwest to hang out with the most incredible people. I am obsessed with puppies, extra hot coffee, sunrise and firmly believe that love conquers all.

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