Today is a big day for my bonus boy. He's blowing double digits out of the water and turning the big 1 -1 !! That's right - he's eleven today, an idea I'm still working on wrapping my head around. This will be the seventh birthday I've had the privilege of spending with him and I can not wait to see what the next one brings. Eleven things to note this past year:
Football...oh, football. Here's a quote, "Every part of my body hurts....and that was the most fun I've ever had in my life." That about sums up football. The dedication and drive I've seen in this kid amazes me! The hours he puts in on the field and at home blows me away. This year has been a lot of eating, breathing and sleeping football.
This year he has a best friend. And they are together a lot. And sometimes they disagree or have to compete on the field - but that is life, right, and he's learning. He's learning how to have those relationships, how to nurture them, how to fix them when they crack and how to stand his ground even to a friend.
This year, like every other year, he has his own style. It's not different then many kids, but he is set in stone about it. He knows exactly what he wants to wear and only waivers from that when I ask really nicely for funerals, weddings and family pictures. Otherwise you'll find Andrew in Nike something from head to foot.
This year he has stretched his sarcasm wings and flown. He's a funny, funny guy and we've gotten to the point of friendly teasing and banter. He only rarely has to be reminded of the line of disrespect and has learned how not to cross it.
This year Andrew's love for his dog has exploded. He talks to Walker like he is his child. He cuddles, carries, plays, pets and loves on all the time. He loves that dog...and the feeling goes both ways.
This year he has learned to say no. No, he doesn't like that. No, he doesn't want to do that. And no, he can't be pushed because he has his own mind made up and no amount of coercion will change that. I. Love. This.
This year, more than any other, I've seen that older brother role come into play with George. I've caught them (though they'd probably deny it) talking...Andrew showing George how to build something with Legos, how to really hold a football, and why black socks are better. Now don't get me wrong...they aren't a perfect fit those two boys but every year it clicks more and more.
Last school year there were things that were a struggle. Not the learning part...that kid is smart as a whip. But the organizing, time management part. And he overcame. He finished the year strong, like always. And is already applying good skills to this school year.
Big brother extraordinaire! He is...just ask his sisters. They think he walks on water. And he loves every second of it.
Tweendom...it's coming, holy cow is it coming fast, and he can't wait. The music, the wanting to fit in, the growing pains, the struggle between laying on the floor and playing dolls with your sister and still looking cool to your friends. This kid...this kid has it under control.
Big questions. This kids has big questions. Hard questions. Things that make us stop and think and evaluate...and then try and help him come up with his own answer and belief.
Happy birthday Buddy Boy! I love you more than I can ever put into words and hope this next year is your best one yet.