Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Seven is a grand number

Just ask Boy Wonder.

Last week he had his birthday and I'm still having a hard time remembering that he's no longer five...let alone SEVEN!

I started the letter-writing tradition last year and figured I'd keep it going as long as he seemed interested in hearing them. So here goes.

Dear D,

Seven!!! I can hardly believe it. Just yesterday I was baking you a dino-cake for your fifth birthday at the museum, and now here you are all grown up and leaving me on the side of the pool while you swim with your friends.

There are no two ways about it, Sir...you are born to swim. In the past year we've dipped our toes in the proverbial pools of about a million sports and activities and they all stick for about 14.5 minutes before you'd rather stay home and watch cartoons than brave the cold weather. But not with swimming. From the moment we started your first lesson when you were three, swimming has been the one thing you never tire of. And you're good at it, kid. We like to joke that with that stretch torso and long legs, you're bound to put Michael Phelps to shame some day. Could happen...

First grade started off as a challenge. Not really because you weren't prepared, more because it was new people and new experiences that were waiting for you after your trip to Texas this summer. You weren't overly thrilled for me to leave your classroom on the first day and after the SHOVE out the door you gave me on your first day of kindergarten, I have to admit I kind of liked it! But you did fine. You've made some great friends who come over and eat all our food and never want to leave because our house is so, well, animated? Yes... that's a good word for it.

You shine in math, little man. Numbers are kind of like legos and you figure out places to put them and make it work. I'm amazed. You're on the road to reading and it's exciting to watch the wheels turn in that brilliant head of yours.

You're learning that being a big brother isn't always easy and sometimes a toddler is a challenge...especially when you have to let go of the power struggle, despite the fact that you're bigger. It's just what you do, kiddo, and you get it. You're protective of Andrew in a fierce, loyal way. I'll probably never forget the hike we took as a family at the end of the summer and Andrew did what wild, carefree toddlers do...he wandered off the path and into the thick of things. The tears on your face were real and you would not calm down until I had him back within arm's reach and safe from the dreaded Cow Parsnip! But that's you...even at such a young age you think it's your job to keep the ones you love safe and happy.

As you grow, I pray you learn balance...that sometimes your job is just to be a kid and laugh, fart, and get in trouble for putting gum in the dog's fur or something harmless like that (though be warned, you will learn what grounding is sooner or later and if you're anything like me, you'll spend a good portion of 4th through 6th grade under house arrest!)

Six flew by, my love. I see a pattern now, and it's bittersweet. Before long, we'll be packing up your room and shipping you off to college (Texas A&M, hopefully! ha!)...but not yet. You're still the boy who wanders around the house with one boxing glove on and a kitchen spoon tucked into your belt like a weapon...and I love you so much for it.



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