You are nine years old. 9. In nine more years you will be 18. Officially an adult. Luckily you turn 18 the summer before your senior year of high school, so I get to cheat a little bit and keep you home until you are almost 19. I am the luckiest.
Grams, Papa and Dad keep telling me to stop saying you are half-way. It’s depressing and slightly terrifying. Questions zoom into my head then tumble around in there in an endless cycle. Are we teaching you everything you need to know? kindness? hard work? honesty? faith? responsibility? courage? Do we teach you by example and by words? Who will you be? What will you do? How do I help you get there? This birthday more than any other has made me re-evaluate my mothering skills, made me want to be more deliberate, and figure out exactly what you need.
You have grown up a lot this year. More independent slightly more responsible, a bigger tease, more BOY less little kid.
You like to say things like I’m going to eat 75 bowls of ice cream “J/K” and then giggle.
When you are in a good mood, which is most of the time, “Ya sure!” is your response to my requests.
Indirectness is your favorite approach to getting things. “That ice cream looks really good.” instead of, “Can I have some ice cream?”
Screaming as loud as you can while running in circles is a favorite past time.
You told me that cuddling, chatting, and reading in your bed before lights out is your favorite part of the day. I’m going to hang on to that for as long as I can. When you were in Kindergarten you used to jump off the bus right into my arms. Back then, I thought, “this won’t last much longer”… it didn’t… last year I was lucky if you acknowledged my presence when I was in your classroom. Soon you will be going to bed later than I will.
You like to tease your siblings. Copying what someone else says is not cool. But…. you are also incredibly sweet to them. You always save them some of whatever treat or prize you get and let them sleep in your room almost whenever they ask.
When I catch you in a lie and ask you about it you say, “That was part truth and part lie. I’m sorry if I misspoke” The use of the word misspoke gets you some leeway.
This year you love your friends and want to be gone more than you used to. Playing video games, night games, and building forts up on the mountain.
You no longer think I know everything. I will say something about some historical or scientific fact and you will counter with , “Actually…..” and you are usually right.
You can carry on a conversation about ancient gods, astronomy, the ocean, or minecraft for hours with very little input from anyone else.
It takes you an INCREDIBLY long time to get ready in the morning. You get distracted by legos, by books, by “Max trying to kill you”. You always manage
You are always respectful to your teachers at church and at school. It must be a bit much for you, when we try and teach formally at home, you are usually in some weird upside down position trying to make Max laugh.
School, documentaries on Netflix and learning delight you.
You no longer care if you friends make fun of your bike, or if you are the only one that likes to do swim team instead of football. But if I try to make you wear “nice” clothes to school you care A LOT. “Everyone wears cozy clothes mom.”
You have a strong sense of right and wrong and courage to act on that sense. Breaking official rules is against your nature – even when Mom or Dad tells you it’s OK. It takes some great talking to get your to play in the play place at Chick-Fil-A since you are technically too tall.
You are the best oldest brother and the best oldest child, and so much more than what I’ve written here. We adore you.
Love you forever,