- What is your favorite color? red
- What is your favorite toy? I don't have one
- What is your favorite fruit? mango
- What is your favorite TV show? I don't have one
- What do you like to eat for lunch? Sandwich with roast beef and swiss cheese
- What is your favorite outfit? I don't have a favorite outfit
- What is your favorite sport? karate
- What is your favorite snack? don't have one
- What is your favorite animal? penguin
- What is your favorite song? Don't have a favorite
- What is your favorite book? The Bridge Home
- Who is your best friend? [Sunshine], [K], [M], [A], [M]
- What is your favorite cereal? oatmeal
- What do you like to do outside? play
- What is your favorite drink? water
- What is your favorite holiday? St. Patrick's Day
- What do you sleep with at night? Stuffed animals
- What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? oatmeal
- What do you want for your birthday dinner? Bucket O Shrimp
- What do you want to be when you grow up? structural engineer
My Sweet Baby Boy,
We used to to play for hours, you and I. We played anything and everything. You were also so creative, but patient and kind when my creativity didn't match yours. We would build with wood blocks and play with cars. You always let me build anything I wanted. You've always been very easy going like that. When I was pregnant with Sunshine and always sick, we would play games where I could be sitting or laying down. We'd play pirate ship a lot. We sailed the seas of your bedroom and never go tired of the same game because we always had new adventures ahead of us.
When we needed a little down time from all of the play, we would read together. You would sit in my lap and we would read story after story. Thomas the Train stories were your favorite. We would read about those cheeky engines morning, noon, and night. After we read about them, we'd also play trains. It didn't have to be anything fancy, just pushing the trains along the tracks on the train table.
As you got a little older, you were happy with a little more indepence. You could build and play for hours alone. The moment you learned how to read, which was exceptionally early, you would sit and read for hours. You would read all of the wonderful stories we read together and you would read new and exciting stories on your own. I would watch you and I would be so proud, and so sad at the same time. You always still let me play or read to you when I asked, but it was different. This time, you didn't need me.
It was all OK because we still had our bedtime ritual. When you were a tiny baby, I would hold you in my arms, rock you, and sing to you. As you grew up, I would sit on the side of your bed and sing to you. It was always the same songs, in the same order. As more and more time passed and we got busier and busier, our playlist of songs went down to one. Baby Mine. I would sit on your bed, stroke your hair, and sing you Baby Mine. Soon, that one song turned into no songs. I know you'd still let me sit on the side of your bed and sing to you, but you no longer need or want me to.
Each morning when I wake you up, I say, "Good morning, my sweet baby angel. I love you with all of my heart. You are my precious gift from God. It's going to be an amazing day, Little Man." Each morning when I say it, I embrace it because I know that at any moment, it may be the last time. You will be setting your own alarms to get up and won't need me to wake you up. And, before I know it, you'll be off to college where I can't wake you up each day.
You are turning into such an amazing young man. No matter how old you get, you will always be my baby boy. Whatever you face in life, I will be there, supporting you. Even though you no longer need me for a lot of things in your life, I hope that you still want me to be there. However, even when you don't want me there, I'll still be there, waiting, just in case. It's you and me.
Happy Birthday, my Little Man. I love you. Always.
My Dear Baby Boo,
Each day when I look at you, it both amazes me and terrifies me at how you are moving from being my little baby to becoming a young woman. I vividly recall you "dancing" around the living room when you were old enough to stand on your own. It could barely be called dancing since it was mostly running and jumping. Now, when you dance in the living room, you are graceful and glide across the floor. Each soccer season, this being our 15th, I think about your very first time playing soccer. You were just two. You kicked that ball all the way to the goal and then picked it up and put it in. I love watching you play soccer, but that will forever be my favorite memory. You wanted to play baseball before you could even hold a bat. You were literally going to baseball fields from the time you were a few months old. As soon as you could walk, you wanted to be out there with your brother rather than stuck behind the fence with me. Finally, it was your turn. And you, my sweet girl, who had waited so long, huffed and stomped around the bases your first time out there because you were called [Sunshine] R as opposed to just [Sunshine]. Now, you are playing all the positions and figuring out your favorite. You no longer stomp around the bases.
You have always been one to do your own thing, regardless of what others are doing. To this day, I am in awe of that and filled with pride. I have watched you set out and try new things. This past year, you picked up a bow and arrow and decided archery was pretty cool, even though no one else you know does it. You weren't sure about chess, but joined chess club and found you like it. Though math isn't your favorite, you joined 24 Club and made it into the city tournament. You have stepped up and taken on leadership roles by joining safety patrol and KKids. You can now solve a Rubik's cube faster than your brother! You are singing your heart out in Glee, and, to our surprise, tried out for a solo. Getting the solo doesn't matter, what matters is you tried! This summer, you are branching out and trying rock climbing. You have always been so adventurous! Not only have you started doing so many new things, but you have stuck with activities that you really love, like soccer, dance, softball, running, gardening, and art.
This past year, you have taken time to develop your friendships. You are such a caring kid. You want to make sure everyone is happy. I'm so proud of you for being the kid who plays with the kids who don't have many friends. You try very hard to make sure everyone is included, even if you are not a huge fan of that particular person. You are still learning life lessons on who to trust and how to balance your friendships, but that's good and you're doing an amazing job.
Life is always an adventure with you, my sweet Sunshine. I'm excited to see what this coming year has in store for you. Whatever it is, you will meet it with your bold spirit and kind nature. You will shine.
I love you. Always.
My Sweet Baby Boy,
Twelve years ago today, I didn't realize it would be the day that I would meet you. I went to work, as normal. Then, you decided to come fast and furious. We knew you were going to be special since all of the Cleveland area experienced a blackout that night. It was a warning, "Watch out for this one, World. He's meant to do great things".
This year, I was very scared for you. Last year, you had such a great year. I didn't want that to end. I have only heard horror stories of Middle School. It turns out, I had nothing to worry about. You thrived. This year may have actually been better than last (though I believe you will never have better teachers than you did in 5th grade, this year is very close). You have met more people and become friends with people who are more like minded. You have freedoms this year, and, for the most part, don't abuse them. You leave on your own and I just tell you when to be back. Every morning when you leave for school, I still watch you ride up to the corner and I get teary. This is the first year in your whole life that I didn't take you to school every day. All those years past, it wasn't because you couldn't make it to school on your own, I mean we live close enough, but I walked you because I wanted those few extra moments. I picked you up every day because I wanted to be the first person you saw after your long day of school. That's why I wait outside for you to come home. I am so excited to see you and find out about your day that I just can't wait until you put your bike away and come in the house, I need be outside waiting I can't tell you the feeling of pride that I get when I see you turn down onto our street.
This year has been a big one for allowing you more freedom. As a parent, my job is to help you become a functional adult. For this, a parent can't do everything for their child. So, we've taken a step back. Last summer, we started letting you ride your bike to friends' houses, without me checking in the parents to make sure they were around. Thankfully, you have trustworthy friends who let you know that you guys can't hang out because their parents aren't around. I'm also thankful you have friends that respect our rules of not being here when your Daddy or I aren't around. It made me so happy when your friend just showed up yesterday to hang out. I saw it as a sign of a fun summer to come.
Another area in which you thrived this year was academics. This was also another area that you were left to take responsibility for on your own. Each day, you come home and you immediately tell me if you have homework or not. I never have to ask you do your homework, you always just do it. You also take responsibility for studying for tests. You make sure you do the quizzes and study guides the teachers provide every day. You're also very proactive and have good communication with your teachers. Your grades have been fantastic this (and every) year. You have been putting more effort into your work, and it shows.
You have really matured so much in the past year. I can not tell you how great it is to know I can count on you more for things and give you more responsibility. You have learned to make more meals to help out your family. You have learned to mow the lawn, and do a pretty darn good job. You don't give me too hard of a time about doing random tasks that I need help with.
I am so proud of the person you are and the person you are becoming. I can't wait to see what this next year brings us. I am confident it will be just as good if not better than this past year. As long as we stick together, we can do anything! I love you beyond measure. You are my heart and soul.
Happy Birthday, Little Man. I love you with all of my heart. You are my precious gift from God. It's going to be an amazing year.
Love you always,
My Sweet Baby Boo,
Where have 9 years gone? You are becoming such a beautiful young lady, yet it feels like just yesterday you were my precious baby.
We are so proud of the young lady you are becoming. You have such passion for all you do. You put your heart and soul into all that you try. You're developing your skills at the things you love to do, like soccer, dance and baseball. We can see your progression and it amazes us. We love how you seamlessly transition from graceful ballerina to tough-as-nails soccer player in a 5 minute time span!
You have had some hard times this year. Through those, though, you have learned to be who you are. You have discovered that your tender heart and compassion shine through and others do see it and have faith in it. You are learning to be who you are, no matter what other people think. You are broadening your circle of friends and learning that it's OK that you have friends who aren't friends with each other.
You are also working on trying new things. You have always been our child who is willing to try pretty much anything, other than food. You're now expanding and trying all sorts of new things, including new foods! This year, you have joined clubs for the sake of trying new things and have discovered you like them. You are in Run Club and having a great time. You enjoy learning about gardening in Garden Club. You have taken a step out of your comfort zone and are working hard at Science Olympiad.
You have learned and tried so much this past year. I can't wait to see what this next year brings. The first new endeavour will be a new baseball league. You may love it or it may not be for you, but either way, you shine.
Keep being you, my sweet Sunshine.
I love you. Always.
My Dearest Monster,
I'm not ready for this. I'm not ready for you to be 11. I look at pictures of you when you were a baby and I wonder where those years went. You were such a happy little boy. You always had a smile on your face. Now, you're so serious most of the time. That's not saying you're unhappy. You laugh so much, but rarely do you actually smile. This past year has changed that a bit. The smile is returning. It has really been a great year for you, and you definitely deserved a great year! I think that's why I'm so sad so see this year go. Even though I'm sad to see this year go, I'm so excited for you for all the future has to hold. With this amazing year under your belt, I know you are ready for bigger and better things.
You have grown so much this year. You have always been a good kid, but this year, that has shone through in so many more ways. It amazes me at how mature you are becoming. I tell other parents how I can trust you to get your work done before playing and they wish their kids would do that. It's not only that. You are starting to take more responsibility. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of you for that.
There are so many things that I feel like I still need to teach you, but every day you show me that you are already learning a lot of those things. There are some things in life that I always want you to remember. First, you are braver than you believe. This is written above your door for a reason. You are, by far, the bravest boy I know, yet I know that you are still afraid of facing a lot of things. You are never alone when facing these fears. I will always be there, even if it's only in your heart. Second, always be kind. I realize that this is one I really don't have to tell you. You are the kindest child I know. Just keep in mind that everyone we meet is fighting their own battles. Give others grace and treat them with respect and kindness even if you feel they don't deserve it. This goes along with my third lesson, don't let others take advantage of you. You can still stand up for yourself while being a kind person. Some people will try to get you to do what they want simply because you are kind. Always do what you know is right, even if it upsets people. Fourth, please remember how very proud we are of you. You don't have to do anything spectacular, just be yourself, and know we are proud of you for that. And fifth (I'm sure I'll think of more later, but for now, this is the last), know how much you are loved. Always. No matter what. No matter how mad we get, or disappointed, we will always love you. You are going to screw up. We will still love you. You are the most loved little man in the whole world and that will never change. Know that. Feel it. Never forget it.
Happy Birthday, my Sweet Baby Angel. I love you with all of my heart. You are my precious gift from God. It's going to be an amazing year, Little Man.