Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dear Henry: A Seven Year Letter

Dear Henry,

Seven.  You have really been looking forward to this one.  I went to wake you up on your birthday morning and instead of finding a sleeping six year old I found a grinning seven year old.  With a birthday in May, lots of your friends are already seven and, well, it was clear by your grin that you were so thrilled to have FINALLY joined them.  I, for one, wish time would slow down, just a little. I am excited for seven, but six has just been so amazing... I wouldn't mind to hold on to it for just a little longer.

You have had a big year. When I try to think of what is most important to tell you, my mind fills with baseball and Disney, Cub Scouts and Reading, first grade and Regular Show... it has been a busy year!  I guess I will start with reading, because to me, it is the most important thing that happened between six and seven.  You were able to read some at the end of kindergarten, but you weren't READING.  But somehow, I guess through the magic of your first grade teacher Mrs. Graham, you have become this amazing, chapter book reading machine. You love it, and I love to watch you. I came in the house the other day to find you curled up on the bed with a book and I thought my heart might explode.  I can't imagine any better gift than sharing my love of reading with you. I will do everything I can to nurture it and hope it stays with you your whole life through.

This year also will be remembered as the year I finally got to introduce you to Harry Potter.  Oh, sweet boy, I have been looking forward to this since before you were born.  I think I have been looking forward to it since the moment I first read the series. "Some day," I thought, "I am going to read this to my kid, and it is going to be so great!" And that sorta puts a lot of pressure on you to like it. I mean, it isn't like my love of Harry Potter is a secret. So I worried a little that the book might let you down, that you might not feel the magic quite like I feel the magic.  But early on I could see this book was working it's way into your heart the way it did mine.  I will never forget the moment when I closed the book and said it was time for bed and you took my face in your hands and said "Mama please, one more chapter.  I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!"  We finished the first book several months ago and you are having a hard time waiting for book two, although I am making you hold off until October.  Harry grows up fast in the books, so I think spreading them out is wise. But also, I want to stretch out this magic between us as long as I can.  Because reading these books with you is something I will cherish to the end of my days. 

Another large chunk of this past year has been dedicated to the Cardinals tball team.  Oh man, we have all loved watching you play so much. Coach Huff has helped you grow as a player and as a young man, and his love for you has grown so strong over three three years you have played with him. I have watched your confidence grow along with your love for the game.  And along with that, I have watched you build friendships with your teammates over these two years that touch my heart. You have been lucky enough to get to play with your best friend Luke one season and your cousin This season will wrap up your time in tball, an endeavor that has span three years and five teams, and I will always look back on it with so much love.
We managed to sneak in some travel this year, including our very first trip to Disney World.  It was magical. There is not a better word.  You had never been on a roller coaster before, and we were not srue how you would like them. You assured us you were ready, and man, you were! The first ride we rode was a small roller coaster called the Barnstormer. The moment we got off you said "Can we PLEEEEASE RIDE IT AGAIN?!"  So we did.  And again. For two days we took in nearly every ride and show, and the three of us had so much fun.  We had several other trips this year in addition to Disney.  We spent a week with Nana and Grandpa in Florida of course, which  you always love. We also went to Lake Norman with Nanny, Papaw, Aunt Boo, Uncle Chris, and Cici.  Plus, we went to Tennessee with the South Carolina family and up to Ohio to celebrate the New Year and to go to Great Wolf Lodge with Luke and the other Cub Scouts.  We love to take you new places and you always seems to have a blast wherever we go.

What a year, Henry.  You have grown so much. I watched part of your kindergarten graduation video the other day and, even though it was only a year ago, you look so little.  You have grown up so much this year, and it is thrilling and it hurts my heart.  How is time moving so quickly?  Every night you lay with your Papa on the couch and you all watch Regular Show, your favorite cartoon.  And every night I look over at the two of you laying there and I think of how much I love being your Mama.  of how much I love our little family. You are growing up so fast, and your Papa and I are so thankful to be along for the ride.  Thank you for being so easy. Thank you for loving us so much. You make loving you simple, easier than breathing.  Thank you for being you.



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