- What is your favorite color? red
- What is your favorite toy? light sabers
- 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? Food...sandwich, cheese, ham
- What is your favorite outfit? Jammies and a t-shirt
- What is your favorite sport? karate
- What is your favorite snack? Skittles
- 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], [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? Memorial Day
- What do you sleep with at night? Pup pup
- What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Smoothie
- What do you want for your birthday dinner? Hamburgers
- What do you want to be when you grow up? structural engineer
My Sweet Baby Angel,
This year has been one crappy year. Three broken toes, a tooth knocked out, and then, 2020, just in general so far. Yet, through all of it, your positive light has shone through. You have been able to find the good through it all.
I am so proud of the young man you are becoming. You have such a huge, caring heart. You are the best big brother a girl could ask for. You are reliable and responsible.
I'm so proud of you for trying, and excelling, at new things this year. You found a love for snowboarding. You were an office aide. You were chosen as a student presenter at the Made In Medina County Fair. You are taking on more responsibility at karate by teaching classes. You have a live app published in the Google Play store. These are huge accomplishments. You do all this while maintaining a 4.3 GPA.
This year is going to be a year of so many changes. First, it's a crazy year to begin with. Who would have thought there would be a global pandemic where you need to finish school online? In fall, you start high school, but we're still unsure of what that's going to look like. Whatever it is, we're pretty sure it won't be "normal". Whatever it is, though, you will be amazing. You are such a great student who loves to learn.
I truly wish this summer could be a "normal" summer where we go out and do all of the fun, wonderful things we do. However, the world has drastically changed in the past 3 months and we're living a new normal. You will make the best out of this summer because it's who you are. You will not look at all of the things we can not do, but you will appreciate all of the things we can do. I love that about you.
Even though I'm sad at the current state of our world, I'm excited to see what this year has in store for you. I know that what ever comes your way, you will do great things.
Don't ever forget who you are and remain true to that.
I love you forever.
This is not how I had planned this letter to go. Never, in a million years, could I have predicted that we'd have to celebrate your birthday during a global pandemic. Never would I have thought that no one could be here to celebrate. We knew your birthday was a Thursday, a dance day. We knew we wouldn't be able to even have a sleepover tomorrow with H because you would have a soccer game Saturday morning. We were sure, though, that H would come over tomorrow. We'd go out to dinner. We'd laugh, eat cake, and have fun. These were things we thought we knew. Obviously, the world had other plans. But, I promise, my Sweet Baby Boo, that we WILL go out to dinner with H. We will laugh, we will eat cake, and we will have a great time, soon. I promise those gifts we ordered a month ago will shortly arrive. You have handled this all better than I have. You have accepted your birthday is not going to look like we thought it would. You are disappointed, but have made peace with it, even though I have not. This was not the tone I had intended for this letter. I wanted to speak to your about your bravery and your accomplishments, but never did I think I would be discussing how strong you are to understand that life has been flipped upside down and there's no fixing it.
So, I'm going to try to write the note that I wanted to write before. Before the world stopped moving.
Happy Birthday, my Sweet Baby Boo! This has been a huge year for you! You should be so proud of yourself and all of your accomplishments. I know I am. You've done so much and had so many magnificent moments since last April.
It has been an honor to be able to watch your skills grow. I'm not just talking about one skill here or there, but a wide range of them. Your soccer skills get better each season, as do your dance and softball skills. This year has been a stellar one for Math. Have i mentioned lately how proud I am of you for your math skills? I know your confidence is low in this area, but you wouldn't be in advanced math next year if you weren't capable. Writing has always been your strong suit, but even those skills have really blossomed over this past year (I knew they would because you have some kick butt teachers!).
This year, you tried new things and excelled at them. You added on a dance class. You were nervous you wouldn't be able to keep up, but you were. You are sticking with it by doing the online classes for not only your level, but higher levels so that you can push yourself. This winter, you learned how to ski and loved it (still not sure where you and your brother came from on that one since your father and I hate the cold!). Listening to you talk about all the hills you went down and how you tried hills that were difficult gave me such a sense of pride. You are bold and brave and willing to try almost anything.
You have shone with your leadership skills this year as well. Every teacher you have ever had has said you are a leader and a good roll model for other students. This year, that was recognized by being chosen as a Safety Patrol Captain and Co-President of K-Kids. I believe you understand that you don't have to be bossy to be a leader. A leader listens and makes the best decisions possible for everyone involved, not just themselves. You truly are a leader in your every day life.
You are so kind hearted. You take the time to help your friends and make them feel better. Even more, it's not just your friends. You have included students you are not fond of because they were left out. You try to make others happy, regardless of it they are your friends or not. I know that during this pandemic, it's been so difficult to keep in touch with everyone. I love that you spent 2 hours on the phone playing Uno and other games with H yesterday. I love that you and K spent time on Zoom making up dances. I love that you and A were able to do dance classes "together" on Zoom. I hope that, as we're confined to our houses, you do more of these things to help you feel connected once again.
I am so proud of all your strength and dedication to your education and sports during this time of change. I love that you have taken time to learn new things. I love that your take the initiative to do workouts for dance on your own. I love that you head outside, almost every day, to throw the softball or kick the soccer ball around. I love that I don't have to hound you to do your school work. I love that you do the optional activities with as much gusto as the assigned activities. I love that you DO things instead of sitting around watching TV or playing on electronics. I love your passion for reading and how you've branched out with what you read. I love that you have contributed so much to this household.
My wish for you this year has changed since the world has changed. My wish for you for this year is that you don't lose hope. Stay strong and know that some day, you will once again play with your friends. You will have dance class that is not in our living room. You will play softball with a team rather than your family. You will play soccer on a field instead of in your backyard. You will once again learn in a classroom instead of your bedroom. Until then, stay true to who you are. Know that people love you and are here for you. Like all times, you are not alone. We are all here for you. Your brother, father, and I would move mountains for you. You have caring and kind friends who have done a lot to make this day special for you. That speaks to your character and who you are.
I hope you have a wonderful birthday, my sweet Baby Boo.
I love you forever.
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,