Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Dear Andrew,

Happy Birthday!  Today you are 6 years old.  

What a difference a year can make.  One year ago, just before you turned 5, you started preschool.  I was so hopeful for you and nervous at the same time.  I had hoped you would find confidence and independence.  I was nervous you would be unhappy to be away from me and home and our routines of the previous 4 years.  Now I can just smile as I think back to those days, knowing how everything turned out. 

You absolutely flourished at preschool.  You learned how to write your name.  You developed academic interests.  You started on the path of learning to read.  And you had fun!  You made new friends all on your own.  Through all of these activities and achievements, you found the independence and confidence I hoped you would find.  And I have to say, you have never looked back.

In the spring, you played tee-ball.  This was your first try at organized team sports.  You were great!  Dad and I were so proud to watch you paying attention to the coach, learning the rules of the game, being a good sport and hitting a lot of “homeruns”.  I just loved watching you run the bases.  

In July, you participated in Mini-Hawks at the pool and learned how to swim.  By the end of the summer, you were swimming freestyle all around the pool and spending lots of time jumping off the diving board.

This fall, you started playing soccer.   You are a natural.  Your coordination and athleticism really started to come together over this past year.  I love how enthusiastic you are about soccer, how you play defense (especially since your father and I both played defense back in our youth,) and how quickly your skills are developing.  I know Dad is really enjoying being your coach.  I imagine this is just the first of many of your soccer teams he will coach.   

This fall, you also started Kindergarten.  You were so excited to start school.  On your first day, you said good-bye and turned to walk into the school.  You were swallowed up by a throng of students.  No anxiety, no fear, and no looking back.  You are off to a great start in Kindergarten.  

You are growing in so many ways.  Physically, you are quite a bit taller.  You have a voracious appetite.  You lost 8(!) teeth this year and are growing adult teeth which look enormous to me.  Mentally, your brain is ever expanding.  You love to write and tell stories.  You are doing math in your head.  You’re able to add and subtract without always using your fingers.  You keep track of the full moons.  You grew tomatoes this summer.  You are starting to read.  Your sense of humor is maturing which I just love.  (Although fart and poop jokes are still your standard go-to.)   Emotionally, you have gained so much self-control this past year.  You are good at making friends and are kind to your existing friends.  You are thoughtful.  Motor skills, you buckle and unbuckle your self in the car.  You can make yourself a sandwich.  You help with chores.  It is honestly very nice to have your help around the house.

All of these attributes show what a big kid you are turning into.  Your brother, Jay, loves to be with you.  He is always asking where you are if you’re not together.  He wants to do what you are doing, eat what you are eating.  He loves wearing your old t-shirts when you outgrow them.  He wants to be just like you.  This is a testament to the boy you are becoming.  

The boy you are becoming is a confident, smart, athletic, funny, sweet young boy.  I couldn’t be prouder of you.  Happy Birthday, Andrew.