It seems so odd to say that you are 11, but 11 you are. You have changed so much in the last year--in your physical appearance as well as your overall maturity--and I can truly tell you are starting to leave some of the trappings of childhood behind as you stretch towards manhood. You have grown taller and thinner in the last year, and you've decided to start wearing your hair longer, because you determined a buzz was a haircut for younger kids. On a recent grocery shopping trip, I spied a man out of the corner of my eye coming up the aisle beside me. I tried to ease out of his way, but when he kept coming toward me, I took a closer look and realized it was you all along. It was a shock to register my mistake because I still sometimes think of you as my little boy, as mothers are wont to do I suppose.
You loved our RTW trip and often talk about things you enjoyed or observed while we were traveling. You definitely have the travel bug and are willing to go just about anywhere...when it isn't football season! You even came up with the term "awaysick" to describe your wanderlust. We'll be doing some traveling in the U. S. next summer, and you are really looking forward to it and are already helping us plan some of our stops.
Speaking of football, that is still your overriding passion. You were fortunate to get onto a great team this fall, where you were encouraged to push yourself harder than you have before. But you were rewarded with the opportunity to play both defense and offense in every game, and you helped your team out with everything from sacking quarterbacks to scoring touchdowns. Not only was your team undefeated in the regular season, but it was also never even scored upon until the championship game, where you suffered a heartbreaking one-touchdown loss in overtime. You and your team worked so hard this season, and your progress as an athlete was observable even to my untrained eye. You are so excited that we now live in a place that has a spring football season as well as a fall season, and you are gearing up to play again in a couple of months.
You are kind of obsessed with logic, having entered an early stage of dialectic learning, and you are enjoying doing logic puzzles and studying logical fallacies in school this year. You also love to point these fallacies out in discussions with those around you, and I'm pretty sure you would be willing to argue with a fence post. I'll admit, sometimes this is maddening for your parents and siblings, but it's also super cool to watch you learning how to use some great tools that will help you better process information and learn to make more of your own decisions. As far as other school subjects go, you still love and excel at math. You are even planning to participate in two different PSIA math contests in the spring. Probably the most surprising class you are enjoying is writing, as this has been your nemesis in the past. You are loving the structure of the IEW program we are using in our CC Essentials class and are especially enthralled with the awesome application of alliterations. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
Despite the proclivity to argue about just about anything, you are still a very sweet guy. You are always quick to give hugs, generous with compliments, and careful to show appreciation for gifts and kindnesses. You are thoughtful and sensitive and an all around nice guy. You also love to tell jokes and to make others laugh, which, combined with your sweet, fun-loving nature, makes you loads of fun to be around.
We happened to be at the ranch on your birthday, and you were beyond thrilled that you got to shoot both a turkey and a buck on your special day. Throughout the course of the weekend you also shot a couple of dove, a quail, and a skunk, though this last was not exactly a hunter's delight. You love being outdoors and certainly don't mind getting your hands (or shirt or anything else) dirty to stock the freezer. Clearly, Dad and I chose wisely when we decided to get you a grill for your birthday.
Weston, I am so very proud of you and the young man you are becoming. You are smart, sweet, funny, handsome, hardworking, and curious about the world around you. It is a joy to have you in our lives, and we are so thankful for you! May this next year be filled with millions of happy moments for you, and may you continue to grow into your awesomeness! I love you so much!