Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


BB’s Birthday

It’s Baby Boy’s birthday. Let’s celebrate!

This is my baby boy. Not much of a baby, but he’ll always be mine. He’s such a funny kid.

He’s my only child who has been organized from the beginning of time. He doesn’t just keep things put away, he organizes his time. His studies. His money. You name it, and he’ll find a way to take care of it.

Before Brad started school, as we were getting ready to go on a vacation one year, he said, “What about my other brother?”

“Your brothers are going.” I pointed at my older boys. “See? Danny and Matt. They’re ready to go.”

“No. My other brother.” BB was getting a little frustrated with me by this time. “At Miss Kimmy’s.”


“Little Bradley. He’s my brother, too.” Little Bradley was his best bud at Miss Kimmy’s–their babysitter. They were always together, even at church. I guess he thought since their names were the same (both Bradley) and he liked him so much, they had to be brothers.

Since I didn’t have the strength to handle another boy, I quickly explained he didn’t have another brother, and while he was a very nice boy, he couldn’t be Brad’s brother because Little Brad’s mom, whose name was also Susan, would cry too much.

Escaped that one by the skin of my teeth! 😉

When he was in 3rd or 4th grade, BB had appendicitis and nearly scared the liver out of me. That was an outpatient procedure (go figure that one) and less than twenty-four hours later when he went home, that tiny little boy had some heavy duty pain pills. So heavy duty, when he tried to leave a room once (I’d turned loose of him to get something) he missed the door and hit the wall.

But he survived, and now has a nice scar to show for it.

On Easter Sunday 1995, BB was baptised into Christ. Three days later, Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 men, women and children, 19 of whom were under the age of six in Oklahoma City.  

When BB was in middle school or early in high school, he decided he wanted to be an orthodontist. Here’s why–he’d thought his teeth were so ugly before he had braces (they weren’t that bad) he wouldn’t smile. And he didn’t talk to people much because he didn’t want them to see. 

His beautiful teeth made such a difference to him, he wanted to be able to do that for other kids.  

Top and bottom retainers

Image via Wikipedia


BB is now a college graduate, engaged to marry a beautiful and brilliant girl. (I love it when my children marry beautiful, smart girls who are from this area so I don’t have to worry about them moving close to HER parents. I need my kids and grandkids close by.)

We’re hoping he’ll get into dental school next fall. All fingers and toes crossed on that one. (If you have any pull in that area, please use it for us!) And, no surprise, he’s very good at working with children. I’m not sure he still plans to be an orthodontist, but he wants to have a pediatric practice. (Gotta give him kudos for that!)

Because of my sons, I understand why the Psalmist wrote, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.” Psalm 127:2.

Sons may be the pride of their father, but they’re the heart of their mother.

One more story–after the wreck when we lost most of the women in our lives, I felt very alone. I couldn’t even feel God anymore (even though I knew He was there and talked to Him non-stop!)

At that huge funeral things got mixed up and my little family wasn’t able to sit with my dad and sibs and their families. Bradley, still in kindergarten, must have known how absolutely alone I felt. Even though we were sitting in hard plastic chairs, he got out of his and came to sit with me. During that time when I needed so much, he was there to hold onto.  

I love you, kiddo. For all the things I’ve learned by watching you, for all the things you taught me, for the laughter, the joy, and even the times when we cried, thank you.