You may or may not see this, as you are busy and are a hit and miss reader, but you were the first of two wonderful sons that Dad and I were blessed with. Being the first child is good. Yes. Because we got to practice with you so when little brother came along, we were pros or so we thought, as you took us around all the scales of parenthood. :P
Just as you came into this world crying, you continued to exercise and make your lungs healthy. Yes. We always commented- that as we looked down into the crib with you on your stomach as you were waking up , that you looked like a little drawn up frog and screaming like a hienie. We learned to love that sound and actually thought it was quite normal until your brother came along cooing and gooing when he awoke. :)
As a kid you made us laugh so many times and as you grew you began to take on a style of your own. You were always respectful to us, not once did I ever hear you sass us or have I ever heard a curse word come out of your mouth in 38 years. Although you had a little mischief in you for sure! We had to tell you that you just don't go into the neighbor's house and rearrange her furniture when she wasn't home nor should you shove your brother literally through the wall. Oh don't worry, he will be having a birthday soon! :) I also wonder just how many times that I wasn't here that you threw a Magic Marker at Polly the parrot when you were studying and she was screeching !
As you grew into a young man and began excelling in sports and in academics, you made us proud. It was a joy to see you on the baseball field on first base, stretching that 6'4" frame and scooping'em outta the dirt. Although I was in the bed with a bad time with my back when I got the call for us to be at the school at a certain time that week and Moo hobbled along with Dad to the school to see you tapped into the National Honor Society. We were there for you. You made us proud. We were also honored to have you named as a North Carolina Scholar. After high school you continued on to college, to graduate summa cum laude with making all A's and that one B for all four years.
After college it was your goal to continue on for four more years at Wake Forest, Bowman Gray School of Medicine. We were proud of your accomplishments there and then you decided to continue your studies for a post doc. You chose St. Jude Children's Hospital Research Center to pursue your field of research in gene therapy and stem cell research. Oh how we loved going to Memphis and you taking Moo more than once to Graceland and Beale Street. You excelled there and left Brian with a lot to work with as you moved on to a job!
In 1999 you married and brought to us an entire package, a wonderful wife Silvia and a precious 4 year old Cynthia to love. You and Silvia have worked together in your careers and you just fell right into being a wonderful Dad. I cannot see that you have changed very much, as you are the still the same Kooner now when you are home, as you were back then; it is almost da ja vu all over again. You have the same work ethics, same morals and same kooky sense of humor that make us all still laugh at times. So, all in all you are the same fellow you have always been, just a bit older, a bit wiser and we are glad you are our son. Have a great birthday today son and know you are loved. And btw folks, he favors his Moo and the younger favors his dad :)