My little man. That is what I often refer to him as. Today you are twelve. Not eleven any longer and moving closer to teenager status. We're celebrating you and the sweet gift you have been to our family. The youngest child, the only boy and the one whom completed our six.
Summer 2006, Cali
Thing 4, happy birthday! From the moment we knew you were a boy my wonder has not ceased. So very different than your sisters. Watching you this past year has been an amazing ride. Ups and downs and all the in between. You have kept us laughing with your performances and jokes, "how much does a hipster weigh?" and "I have something to say about alligators". The questions you ask reveal your sense of wonder and curiosity. Never lose that.
Football is still tops for you. Whether reading about it, watching it, playing it, practicing or playing FIFA, it is number one. Your sense of justice and sportsmanship is ever present on the pitch. This past summer you would not participate in the circus that surrounded your team after losing in shootouts to the Puerto Rican squad. Your Dad and I were proud of you for standing your ground.
You snowboard like no body's business. Spending hours on the slopes, run after run. Trying to master the terrain park.
I've caught you singing in the shower a few times. Even more you have been singing at the dinner table, or the kitchen or dancing around the living room. Such joy. I am so grateful for that.
You have learned a few hard lessons this year as well. School is not easy. The grades will not just come to you, they have to be earned. Friends will have disagreements. Forgiveness does not always pour out of us. What should is grace. I saw you give that away more than once. You told me you sat with another boy because he was alone at the lunch table. You helped a neighbor when their car was stuck in the snow. You've shoveled driveways and picked weeds and delivered care packages. Your feelings have been hurt and I pray you've learned who to lean on, only THE ONE.
Your independent nature is shining through; Each and every time you leave for a weekend retreat, an overnight with a friend, a plane trip on your own. I watch in awe of your strength, your confidence and the boldness with which you walk through life. Not to mention your sincerity and authenticity. Never afraid to share who you are.
This year of eleven has been full. Trips and adventures. Stitches and books. Sand and snow. You remind me daily to live in the moment. I've seen you become more protective of your sisters and myself. Especially when Dad is traveling. I catch a glimpse of the man you are becoming. This is life, it is real and I am grateful to be your Mama. I love you more Thing 4.
I pray the year ahead is full of learning and dreaming and discovering. I pray you continue to live life boldly for the One who created you.