It's your 10th birthday, which is so very hard for me to believe! It doesn't seem that long ago that you were just a little boy. Now, you are a young man. This year, your birthday falls on Thanksgiving, and we are certainly thankful for you. You are smart and funny and talented in so many ways. You fill our days with joy and make us so proud. You are rough-and-tumble, but also sensitive and thoughtful. You are a hard worker, but you also love to relax and have a good time. You are the best of everything!
We are currently traveling around the world, and you have eagerly and enthusiastically embraced all of the new situations and experiences we have encountered. You always look forward to trying the local cuisine, no matter how ridiculous or unusual it seems, and you always try to learn a phrase or two of the local language. You have been most looking forward to our visit to China and have taken it upon yourself to try to learn as much Mandarin as you can before we get there. I have been particularly impressed with the care and attention to detail you show when you practice writing the seemingly complicated characters.
You have also, not surprisingly, been very interested in local sports--both as an observer and player. For your birthday, we gave you tickets to a Rugby World Cup match in Wales, which you thoroughly enjoyed. We also got to see a shinty match in Scotland, which was very interesting and exciting (not to mention, rough). You may have enjoyed that even more than rugby. You have played every sport that has presented itself, with anyone willing to play, on playgrounds and campgrounds throughout Europe, proving not only your athleticism but also your ability to quickly and easily make friends. One group of boys you played football (soccer) with in Wales even came up to Dad and me to tell us what a good "mate" they thought you were. Your true sport love still remains American football, though, and you look forward to watching games (even Aggie games!) when we can get them. And, we were able to get a pro game today, in honor of your birthday, which you were very excited about. You are continuing your tight end training (with a few tweaks to particular localities), as it's possible to do so, while we're on the road. When you are training, you are singularly focused and unquestionably dedicated.
Your love of sports doesn't keep you from also exercising your brain. You are tremendously smart, and it is such a joy to get to participate in your school days and watch your amazing brain in action. You were a CC Memory Master again in the spring, which is such an impressive accomplishment. You also got to go to State in PSIA Storytelling, which was something you had been aspiring to do for a couple of years. You won 6th place and brought home a coveted State medal. You absolutely LOVE Math and look forward to that class above all others. You just recently started the Pre-Algebra book and are thrilled with the new challenges it presents. You also play with numbers and number puzzles all the time and can often be found calculating on some obscure problem, just for fun. You are considering participating in Math Counts when we get back to the States. And, though Math is your true academic love, we have also seen you blossom in many other subjects this year, as well. For instance, you have developed a genuine love of reading and have read all the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter books in the last six months, and you are currently working your way through the Chronicles of Prydain. Honestly, there was a time a few years ago when I didn't know if you would ever read a book purely for your own enjoyment. I'm so glad you have discovered this love and that you have become a such a voracious reader.
You are starting to play around with ideas for your future, and though you don't have any specific plans, you've talked about maybe wanting to work on cancer research or bringing back wooly mammoths, when you're not playing football. You definitely seem to gravitate toward math and science disciplines, at least at this point in your life. I can't wait to watch your passions develop in the next few years. I know that whatever you become, you'll be a great one!
You are a very hard worker and are committed to taking care of business before indulging in pleasure. You make it your goal each day to be the first one up, so that you can knock out a couple of school subjects before the official start of the school day. You also very often get busy working on the dishes after a meal, without being asked. And, sometimes you even volunteer to give Clay a bath. You are very good at looking for ways to help, and we all appreciate that quality in you.
It's hard to put into words how much I love you and how proud I am of you. You are a delight and a treasure, and I'm so thankful to get to do life with you. You make every day more fun and interesting, and you give really great hugs. I hope you have the very best birthday! Double digits looks good on you!
|Two whole handfuls|
|A new watch wrapped in coffee filters.|
Because that's how we roll in our minimalistic world.