Thursday, May 16, 2019

Henry's 10th Year

A few days late, but the last birthday tradition is complete!  Of all the things we do, the annual picture montages might have the most staying power.  I have created a playlist on Youtube, and sometimes when I am feeling nostalgic will just watch them all. They never get old (according to his mother).

It seems like the last ten years have flown by, but watching these videos, we sure have managed to pack them full with a whole lot of love.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. Ten looks good on you.
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Monday, May 13, 2019

Dear Henry: A Ten Year Letter


Dear Henry,

Today you are ten.  TEN.  Double Digits. It has been awhile since I wrote you a letter. When checking the blog, I realized I never posted a letter for your ninth year.  I am sorry about that, but as the blogging slowed, life with you picked up. Over the last two years, you have grown so much into your own person that it has been easier to just talk with you, rather than to write down my thoughts and feelings to share with you later, once you are older… once you are big enough to understand.  Turns out, you are now big enough to understand.  I can share my heart with you, and you can share yours with us.  You are not a baby anymore, or even a little kid.  You are just Henry, my smart, kind, amazing boy.  I am so proud of every single thing about you.

Ten years ago today your Papa and I, along with your entire family, waited with baited breath to meet you.  We had no idea who you were going to be, but leading up to that day, Iwrote you your first letter.  Reading that now, along with all the letters that followed, provide a beautiful snapshot into who you were at each passing milestone.  And so today, for the sake of history, I want to write to you again.  To talk about who you are today and, to take a moment to reflect on how lucky we are to be your parents. 

Over the last year, or two I guess, you have changed so much.  You have truly excelled in school, and have developed a true love of learning and thirst for knowledge.  You continue to love storytelling and writing. Your mind is a bottomless well of ideas, and those pour out of you through the books and games you create.  You still adore video games, both playing and creating them. You love reading and fell in love with several book series including The Last Dogs series and, of course, Harry Potter. You have developed a love of science and engineering.  These interests had an opportunity to shine this year, as you won first place in the district and regional science fair for all 4th grade. Oh Henry, your family was so proud of you in that moment. It was such an amazing opportunity to see you rise to this challenge, and I am so happy your family was there to support you and cheer you on.  

This year you were also lucky enough to be selected as a member of your school’s Robotics Team.  You worked so hard all year with your partner Addy, and that hard work paid off with your team winning second place in the district and fifth place in the state robotics competition. I am not sure how to describe how it feels to sit back and watch you compete at times like this. Your confidence blows me away, yet I know that confidence is supported by hours and hours of practice and preparation.  It is amazing to watch.

As we discuss teams and competitions, I should also mention your continued love of baseball.  Since I last wrote, you played your final reason of coach pitch baseball with the Giants.  I am not sure you will ever love a team as much as you loved that one. It was a special group of kids and coaches, and cheering you on from the stands will forever be some of my favorite memories. This year you moved up to kid pitch and are playing on the Reds.  So far, this has also been a great experience, as you get to be on the same team as several friends, including Hawk.  Through wins and losses, team changes and insane schedules, I continue to love to watch you play.  As long as you want to be on the field, I will always be the loudest parent cheering in the bleachers.

 We have done some traveling since I last wrote, spending several weeks each summer in Florida, which always includes a trip to visit Nana and Grandpa.  We also discovered a love of Anna Maria Island, a place we will go back to again this summer. We went to LegoLand and back to Disney. In addition to those trips, we went to Biltmore this past fall and you had a wonderful time. We also have done overnight trips in Cincinnati and Tennessee, and have continued with our annual trip to Great Wolf Lodge with the Cub Scouts.  Whenever we go, you always seem to love the experience.

So far I have talked about things we have done, or teams you have been on, but that doesn’t really do justice to talking about who you are, or what is most important to you. When I think of you, the first thing I think of is how much you love your family and friends.  In your heart, nothing comes above those you love.  You adore both me and your Papa, and your heart is full when we spend time together.  You also hold all of your family close to your heart. You and Darcy continue to have an unbreakable bond, trusting each other with everything. You are extremely close with your Aunt Boo, who you spend your after school and summer hours with while we work. Your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are also incredibly important to you.  You see them often, and cherish that time together.

Beyond your family, you have a few beloved friends.  Specifically, Luke and Zeke top the list. The three amigos, you all have been close for years.  You and Luke became friends on the first day of kindergarten and that friendship has never faltered.  Zeke joined the group in second grade, and now the three of you are inseparable. With them, you have found kindred spirits, and I would not be surprised if you remain dear friends for life. Beyond those two, you seem to be surrounded by friends that love you. From the classroom to baseball and robotics teams, you have true and loyal friends. It does my heart good to see you be such a good friend, and to have that friendship shared with such a wonderful group of kids.

 I should also mention the new addition to our family since my last letter.  In October of 2017 Sunny joined our family.  You had long wanted a new dog, and when the opportunity arose to adopt her, we couldn’t pass it up. From the moment you first met, it was love at first sight.  She is your constant companion and a wonderful addition to our family.  I love watching you play together and know she fills an important piece of your heart.  Every boy needs a dog, and she really is the perfect fit.

Sweet Henry, I am sure I could write forever about who you are today.  As you can see from the years of blog posts, I found ways to talk about my love for you in hundreds of different ways.  For today, as you round out your first ten trips around the sun, I want to say how proud I am to be your mom.  You make this parenting thing easy.  You are kind and have a heart full of compassion.  You are driven and you are loyal.   You have taken the best parts of your Papa and I, and turned them into a person uniquely yourself.  In my first letter to you, I asked who you might become, and said I could not wait to know you.  Well, I know you now, and I could not possibly be more proud to be your mom. 

In my first letter I also said I cannot imagine loving you more than I did the day before you were born. That feeling still holds true.  I love you so much more than I did ten years ago, but it feels impossible I may love you more in the future.  How can my heart hold any more love? I guess time will tell.  As each year goes by, I find new ways to be amazed by the person you are becoming. I love this journey, and I love you.

Xoxo
Mama

A few (lot) more pictures of our boy:






























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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sweet Henry's 9th Year

My baby turned nine a couple of weeks ago. NINE. I owe him a letter, which I hope to write this week. I also feel like I owe the blog a birthday party post, because it was amazing. But for today, I will share his 9th year photo montage. Every year we make one, but this one was a little different. It is the first full year of his life where I was not regularly blogging. As time passes I am more and more grateful for the record of his childhood that have been saved in this space. While I know he is growing, and his story has become more his own, and not necessarily mine to share, I struggle with the desire to document every single thing about him. Thank goodness for pictures.

 Nine. It really is amazing, how time moves. Days are long, years are short, and all that jazz.

 Happy (belated) birthday, sweet boy. What a year we have had.

xoxo


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