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.