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Big Strong Seven

To My Big Boy,

You don’t notice but when we are out at a restaurant and I can just sit still and enjoy a meal together, I often spend time watching you. Our daily life runs at such a fast pace that I often forget to stop and smell the roses, as they say. In this case, the rose that is you smells like dirt, feet, and root beer, and is Cookie Monster-ing another slice of cheese pizza.7smile

It has been seven years now and what do I see? You are all head and feet like a puppy,  overloaded with energy and ready to turn any time into play time. Your bright, mischievous smile has some gaps and a few slightly misaligned adult teeth. When you are not moving at full speed, ready for the next activity you are asleep and recharging.

Your biggest accomplishment this past year was completing your first year of school. Kindergarten was a tremendous success. Though you were a bit shy during your first few weeks, you blossomed into a classroom leader and a friend to kids across all grade levels. Every member of the faculty seemed to know your name.

student

Just as you were getting comfortable with your new school routine everything changed, and you are not a fan of change. In your life of back-and-forth family dynamics, school was your one constant and after only one year you had to move to another school to start over. We spent a lot of bedtime talking about what was going to happen at the new school, how you felt about it all. When that first day arrived you were nervous, but stepped up and walked into your new classroom ready for whatever was next. It took about two weeks for you to get comfortable there and now the stress and worry is gone; new patterns and friends are established.

Fast forward two months later: your academic skills are exemplary and you set goals for yourself beyond what most first graders look to achieve at your age. Once again you established yourself as a classroom leader and a friend across all grade levels. Your willingness to politely stand by your beliefs combined with your uncanny ability to defuse any situation with a smile and genuine care, has turned playground bullies into friends. At the first parent-teacher conference your teacher described you as “royal”.nosmile

You are obsessed with soccer and began your first series of soccer clinics in Autumn. Now everything in our house is a target for kicking. Shoes last about three weeks before the soles are pulling away at the toe thanks to endless kicking of soccer balls, footballs, baseballs, rocks, pine cones, and car seats.

At seven years old, everything seems to be going your way. Now that you are conquering First Grade, the biggest struggle in your young life is simply getting out of bed on time for school. You fall asleep quickly and wake up slowly amid a pile of pillows, books, clothes, blankets, and random toys. The lesson of having everything ready for the morning before you go to bed has yet to take hold. This means you often walk out of the house carrying your shoes, coat and unzipped backpack because we are behind Dad’s schedule. You may not like me every school day morning but it will all make sense when you are about… 35.

drill

What has always remained is that you are my companion, helper, and faithful friend. Your hand instinctively reaches for mine and we often sit together in the big chair during movie nights. Your dust-ups with Big Sister are fewer but more intense. Amid those epic battles for supremacy of the couch or toy or laptop, I do see glimpses of attempts to be heard, the occasional plea for cooperation so you can both benefit. You are a fledgling Peacemaker.

Today we celebrate how you have grown this past year. You have overcome fears, gained self-confidence, and made new friends even when your instinct was to remain with the comfortable and familiar. I didn’t think your heart could be any bigger, yet you have shown me there is always room to grow. I am proud of who you have become.

Happy Birthday to you, my Little Monkey Man, my Duncan Philip.

greenhair

November 21, 2018 at 11:00 am 1 comment

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