Once upon a time there was a young woman. She moved 4,000 miles away from home to Orlando, Florida from the snow to the sun. From the Tundra to the Sandy beaches. From Arctic Terns to Space Shuttles.
She got married. Then she became pregnant and had a baby. All by herself. That baby had long black hair and smooth caramel skin. He didn't cry at all. When he was six weeks old, he and his momma moved 4,000 miles away. From the Space Shuttles to the Arctic Terns. From the sandy beaches to the Tundra. From the sun to the snow.
And he grew up there in Arctic Alaska. Doing what Eskimo's do; hunting, fishing, living off the land. Shooting squirrels. Playing Norwegian. Riding Bikes. Learning to fly an airplane. (Oh, sorry, but lots of Alaskans do that!)
Eventually that boy turned three and went to school at Nikaitchuat Ilisagviat, the Inupiaq immersion school, where he was known as "Upiksaun-Taliiraq." He flourished in Eskimo Dancing, speaking our native language and cutting up bears. Once he turned six, he went to the Public School and learned to read and write in English. There, he was known as "Koy."
After two years at a Christian School, he skipped the fourth grade when back at the Public School. Middle School was just around the corner. While in the 8th grade, he faced an ugly truth not known to many people, but forced upon him and two of his friends. They overcame. Because they are better than that ugly truth.
He entered into high school, this year. As a freshman, he's had to choose between getting meat in our freezer by hunting for a week out of our camp, or attending Cross Country practice. He chose to hunt. Because that's what he is. A hunter.
In addition to that, he is also a great Son. A wonderful brother. And an awesome cousin.
On Saturday, the 25th, he turned 14. Fourteen. As in, I have a child old enough to DRIVE A CAR (with me in it). He went and grew up on me in the last few years. He's now taller than me, tougher than me (don't tell him I said that) and probably smarter than me! (Again...our little secret)
Funny thing is that I never worry about him leaving with a loaded gun, a survival kit and a snowmachine all alone, but I am TERRIFIED of him driving. He could crash. He could bump into someone. He could get whiplash! I don't worry about him getting stuck or lost out in the wilderness. I worry about him getting his Driver's Permit and driving my car into the garbage bins!
For his birthday, we had NO IDEA what to get him. He has hunting gear, rifles, shotguns, books, a mac laptop, a iTouch, enough clothes, and a Haro Bike. He has a 4-wheeler and a snow-machine too. (Let's explain though. The 4-wheeler is my old one that is hotwired and works occasionally, and is housed at our camp. The snow-machine is one that my aunt gave us for selling her car, and he inherited that as well. The rifles are hand-me-downs from my dad, Dean and Papa Max. He has an iTouch because for his birthday money he bought himself one. And the laptop? EVERY HIGH SCHOOL student gets one in this region of AK. So, now that you know we don't spoil him, let's move on shall we?)
So, we got him the only thing we could think of besides more guns.
Happy Birthday son. I hope you LOVE your new iPhone as much as we love ours!