Our oldest turned nine a couple weeks ago. He is such a great kid. We love him so, so much. He has given us a ton of parenting experience and really challenged our patience, stamina, and creativity as parents. But he's got so much charisma and charm, so every day and every experience has been more than worth it. I can't imagine or even remember life pre-Buddy.
He wants a pet desperately. This is his friend's lizard, Spike. Spike lives in Utah and right before our visit at Thanksgiving he turned up missing. He was missing for over a week. Buddy prayed he's be found and he was! He was SO happy to see him during our visit.
A bit blurry, but this is his normal craziness. Turning his eyelids inside out and picking his nose. No biggie.
Buddy has so many talents it's actually unfair! Here are a few:
- He is an amazing and loyal friend. Everybody loves him. But what's even better, in my opinion, is that he loves everybody. He treats everyone well: from his grandparents to babies, from his brother to his friends' parents, from his piano teacher to the crossing guards at school. He compliments freely and is so kind. Apparently he told one of the crossing guards today that he is sorry she has to stand out in the cold and rain every morning. Now mind you, we drive to school so he has never once used her assistance crossing the street. But he noticed her out there and felt sorry for her and told her so.
- He has the patience of Job. He puts up with his brother (who can be rather annoying). If I'm being fair, he also puts up with me and my crankiness and impatience. Thank goodness for his patience because I have none! He knows that about me, but he still likes me.
- He is still an avid reader. His great example has rubbed off on his brother, who will also be an avid reader, I'm sure.
- His piano teacher tells him every week she wishes she had 10 piano students just like him. She also told him that he has learned more in 11 months than most kids do in a few years. He is a very hard worker and practices diligently every single day.
- He is an excellent communicator. He says just what he means and isn't afraid to share his feelings. He also writes really well and has been writing some really imaginative and detailed stories lately.
- He draws well. He especially loves to draw dinosaurs.
- He is great at science and easily memorizes and remembers facts about animals in particular. Pretty much every subject at school comes easily. He has been learning a lot about geography and is fascinated by countries lately. And he started learning basic geometry at school and keeps using different geometry phrases or concepts in regular conversation. Yesterday he told me he loves me like a ray.
- He has a very quick wit and says funny things daily. Hourly actually.
- He has a strict moral compass and keeps us all in line. He doesn't allow bad words, or any inappropriate-anything in our home or in his life.
- He loves music and knows lyrics and artists to a ton of music. He is so much like his father in that way.
- He knows how to engage a baby and keep their attention for hours. All the young cousins love him. All the babies at church love him.
- His incredible good looks. I'm not kidding we are in serious trouble about this.
We broke down and got him the Lego set he really, really wanted for his Birthday. He also got a nasty gummy snake, a book from Sambo, and a radio with an iPod connector for his room. He has not stopped borrowing our iPods since.
Buddy has grown up so much lately. He has been wanting more privacy. He loves to sit in his room and listen to music. It's so strange to see this happening because he's never been one to want to be alone. He has also been trying really hard to overcome some of his weaknesses. He does not give up and is really wants to be his best self. He has been working really hard on learning to be responsible and has surprised us recently with how mature he is getting. We never thought the day would come when he would remember what day it is. But it's happening! He has also been trying to manage his anxiety and has done such a good job lately. We are really proud of how he does not give up. It's really awesome being the parent of an older child.
We had a party with his friends to celebrate his birthday. He wanted to watch a movie and play a few games, have pizza and ice cream sundaes. He made his friend list and agreed his brother could also invite two friends. Then he chose his movie. The trouble was, the movie he chose was PG-13 and he knew one of his friends can't watch PG-13 movies. So after wringing his hands about how to handle it, he decided to choose another movie. He didn't make a big deal about it, or even try to justify to his friend that the PG-13 movie is totally "appropriate." He respected his friend and made a decision that would make everyone feel comfortable. I was really proud, especially because I'm not sure I would have been as sensitive as he was.
So at the party we played a balloon game, ate donuts off a string, played a couple other simple games, and watched "Jumanji." We had 12 boys in total, including my two. They were so fun and funny but boy howdy were they loud and there was quite a bit of rough-housing going on. I'm totally fine with rough-housing -- but the noise volume. Oh man alive. I'm not even kidding. Next time I have a party with boys I'm wearing earplugs. My ears were still ringing the next day. But they had fun, and that was the point.
All the boys eating pizza.
We're halfway to raising Buddy to adulthood. That is so crazy!!!! A year ago I was super sad about how fast he was growing up, but now that he's dabbling in independence, I am starting to get really excited about his future. (Having a built-in babysitter! YES!!!!!) He was the WORLD'S most hyper toddler. I never thought we'd survive that stage (that stretched on for 7 years). But I can see all that energy being put to great use lately and it's just so exciting. He really does have a bright future. I am so thankful he is my boy. I am so lucky.