- What is your favorite color? dark blue
- 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? Sandwiches
- 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? Johnny Tremain
- Who is your best friend? [Sunshine], [K], [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? Pup Pups
- 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,
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.
My Sweet Baby Boo,
Happy Easter! I know you aren't thrilled with having to share your birthday with Easter this year. That's how April birthdays sometimes fall though. You took your disappointment and worked through it like a big kid. We're very proud of you for that.
You've grown up so much this year. You are such a compassionate little girl. You truly care about others who do not have all of the things you do and try to help how you can. You love for animals is also something that makes us so proud. You are so gentle with God's creatures and care for them.
Sometimes, life is tough. I'm proud of how you are learning to cope with life's difficulties and disappointments. You are finding healthy ways to work through them. Just always remember to be grateful for the things that you have.
You are such a smart little girl, as well. We are so proud of how well you are doing in school. Not just that, though. You love learning. You truly enjoy learning new things and exploring the world around you. Your passion for reading has grown this year and you have branched out to new genres of literature and found you enjoy so much more.
You have such a passion for all you do. You put forth effort into everything that you take part in, and it shows in all areas. You are developing skills that you can put to use throughout your life.
You are so very loved. I know that sometimes you don't feel that way because we are hard on you. We are hard on you because we love you so much. We see what an amazing person you are and we want to make sure you keep being that sweet and caring girl, regardless of the world around you.
Happy Birthday, my Sunshine. You truly make me happy when skies are grey. I love you more than words can say.
Ten years ago, at this very moment, I had no idea today would be the day that I meet you. I had no idea how this day would forever change my life.
You were such an amazing baby. You were happy, quiet, content. Unless of course it was time to sleep. Then you cried. A lot. But once we got you to sleep, you were a great sleeper! Even though you have always been a happy, kid, you've also always been so very serious. You have always looked at life and tried to analyze what it is happening and how it all relates. It doesn't surprise me one bit that you love science so much with your analytical mind.
You've always had such an amazing heart. You have always thought of how those around you are feeling. I am constantly in awe of how much you care for those who are less fortunate than you. You have always been such a grateful child. You haven't always gotten what you've wanted, but, to be honest, you haven't wanted for much. You are happy with what you have and you strive to make others just as happy. Your generous heart has helped people so much. Once again this year, you put others first, even on your birthday, and asked for donations to the Children's Center instead of anything for yourself. It takes a very special person, not just child, to do this. Today, your 10th birthday, we can't even really celebrate because of all your sister's activities and instead of being sad or upset, your response was, "It makes me happy she gets to do something she loves on my birthday." There is not a single other child I know that would react this way.
This year of life was a good one for you. It's about time. I have watched you grow so much this year. You have good friends. You're doing an astounding job in school. You're working so hard at karate. I can't even begin to say how far you've come with baseball. You're becoming more and more of your own person. It scares me to death, I won't deny that. It also makes me very happy. You're finally finding your groove. You've opened your mind to new experiences and new possibilities.
Continue to be brave my little man. Continue to care and love. Find your passion. Try not to be so very serious and smile more. Enjoy life. Enjoy your time as a child because, before you or I know it, you won't be a child any longer. You will always be my Sweet Baby Angel though. Always.
I love you more than words could ever say,