Twenty four years ago, I gave birth to a sweet little 9 pound 7 ounce baby boy
named Jonathan Michael Stewart, our Buddy.
Our fourth child, he is little brother to David, Andrew, and Jennifer.
But nobody calls him little any more!
He was at home around the pool from an early age,
and was a Tiger Sharks star until he abandoned the water
for the football field and the basketball court.
He was a great breaststroker,
and could even win in butterfly (if you paid him enough).
He was also at home in the corn field, and grew up to walk those fields
supervising detasselers (and looking for his lost phone).
His first school experience was at his Nana's preschool.
He was the principal, I think.
On the first day, he told the other kids' moms that he got in free.
He was also a lover of cows, and he had a stuffed cow puppet named Curtis,
after a calf he met at the Angus Preview Show.
He has continued this affection for cows,
but now it is mostly just off the grill.
He was always a happy, good natured kid.
Unless he was being picked on by his older siblings.
Until he grew to be the biggest of the bunch.
At home in the water again.
And with the cows.
This picture was taken just before he fell in the creek.
He always fell in the creek.
Every. Single. Time.
On the beach in Grand Cayman.
And yes, he's always been a good talker. Still is.
Two of his favorite recreational activities are golf and fishing.
This fish was caught at the Baptist Youth Camp
when he was David's assistant lifeguard one summer.
Good thing he didn't hook a camper!
He began his football career in Junior High where he played center.
This was due to 1) his superior size and strength,
and 2) he was the only big guy who could remember the snap count.
He even got all dressed up for the prom a couple times.
He does love to dance. :)
He loved playing football and basketball,
and even though another mom once told me,
"that Jonathan doesn't have a mean bone in his body," he learned to
sack them on the field...
and school them on the court.
It was here that he earned the nickname "Big Jon."
For obvious reasons.
And he continued his affection for bovines.
This is his steer, Joey (named after Joe Paterno, the Penn State football coach).
Here he is last fall in the mountains of Fondwa, Haiti.
Happy Birthday, Jonathan!
Spend it doing something you love.
(Oh wait, that would be what you do every day.)
Love you, Buddy!