From the moment you were born, you became our Mikey.
While it took a bit of convincing for your father to agree if we had a second son, we’d name him Michael, he finally acquiesced. We kicked around nicknames during the decision process, and when I said Mikey, he said no way; he’d never call you that, maybe Mike, but never Mikey.
And then you arrived and quickly wrapped your tiny fist around his finger. He looked with such love into your hazy newborn eyes and said, “Hi, Mikey.”
I remember rolling my eyes thinking, “Well, that changed rather quickly,” but smiling to myself all the same. You were my Mikey the minute I saw you, too.
It took your three-year-old sister a few days to warm up to you, this quiet, big-eyed baby that entered her life, but your older brother, a little over six at the time, was smitten immediately with you. He held you whenever he could and was always trying to catch your attention. “Hey Mikey,” he’d say and do something to make you smile and laugh. He read you stories and was patient when you crawled into the middle of whatever he was doing.
In time, you became your sister’s shadow and probably, her biggest fan – and it was mutual. “C’mon, Mikey,” she’d call out and you’d be after her in a flash, no matter what she wanted to do. You shared such a love of animals with her, spending countless hours grooming and playing with our dog Tasha – and with the never-ending parade of kittens, bunnies and lops, and hamsters. You name it, we had it and the two of you had such fun together.
By the time your youngest brother came along, he shortened your name to Mike, and tried his best to keep up with whatever you were doing. You somehow decided it was your responsibility to look out for your baby brother – a matter, which proved equally as frustrating for you both; you because he didn’t particularly want to listen – and him because, well…he didn’t particularly want to listen. But you looked out for him nevertheless.
In fact, you looked out for all of us and you still do, but over the years you’ve widened the circle of those you care about – your heart is so big – and now your heart has grown that much more preparing you to share your life with a woman you truly love.
She’s no doubt discovered what we’ve known all along. You are a special individual. You are the friend that can be called in the dead of night when no one else is there to help – and you’ll leave a warm bed and go out in a storm to lend a hand, lend an ear, to let people know you’re there for them and you always will be.
When she’s feeling down, you’ll show up with flowers, with a Friendly’s watermelon roll, with her favorite movie or something else that only you’ve noticed that she loves.
If she’s stressed, you’ll be there, not making a sound, but taking care of all the little details that will somehow make the day a bit easier.
If there’s something she wants to achieve, you’ll have her back and ensure she knows how proud you are of her – especially when she’s not sure she’ll be able to see it through. And you’ll be the first to celebrate her success and let others know as well.
I know this because you’ve done it so many times for all of us.
When you were a little boy, you viewed the world with a smile at every turn – and a bit of stubbornness as well. You knew exactly what you wanted and were determined to do it your own way, even when I knew better.
As a man, you’ve grown to embrace the world – and everyone you meet – with a positive spirit, a willingness to be of service and with empathy for others. Stubbornness developed into tenacity, and if there’s something you truly want, you’ll put your shoulder to the wheel to make it happen. You’ve never been afraid of hard work.
As your mother, I’m so incredibly proud of the person you have become – and the life and goals you have created and pursued.
And now – you’re taking this next big step, which I have no doubt is exactly where you should be. I’ve seen the love your soon-to-be wife has for you – and the life you’ve already built together. I’m excited for what’s to come and for the vision and love you both share.
I was just a bit younger than you are now when you were born – and while life didn’t necessarily unfold in the manner that I thought it might, it brought us to who we are now and the family I cherish so very much. I remember looking into your beautiful blue-grey baby eyes and wishing so much for you then, and have so many wishes still for you now.
May your life bring you the many joys that you have brought to me these past twenty-eight years.
May your marriage offer adventure, laughter and love, the kind that creates incredible memories and anchors solid relationships.
May you always remember who you are – and where you came from – and remain true to yourself as an individual, especially as you move forward as a couple.
Most of all, I wish you both every happiness that life can offer together. The spirit in which you’ve begun this next chapter in your lives has demonstrated the love and care you have for each other and your willingness to work hard and work together. May it continue throughout all of your marriage – I hope you always see each other in the same light and with the same love as you do now so early in your relationship.
Happy wedding day, Mikey and Hannah! Here’s to all the good things to come!