Friday, December 7, 2007


Dear Beautiful Boy,
Happy eleventh birthday! I’m delighted, but truth be told I hoped you wouldn’t grow up. Not the, you’re 27 and living in the basement, but that I would be your mom, and you would be a kid, and we’d live happily ever after. However, I’m learning to deal with reality, and as each day passes I get excited about your universe. You’ve grown into someone I didn’t expect, and I’m grateful for that. I’m proud of your individuality, and that you are confident in making your own choices. You’ve picked up interests I had hoped to discourage you from, like hunting, but you don’t allow your friends to tell you what to do, and you don’t let your mom either.
Your passion for the History and Discovery channels cracks us up. Every night at dinner you share some nugget of information, and at the Chicago Art Institute you impressed the docent away with how much you know about arms and armor. Your vocabulary is incredible.

I am blown away by how smart you are, and that you’re doing so well in school academically, socially, and that you have a diverse set of interests from sports to choir. You have a beautiful voice, and I loved watching you participate in a community theater musical this summer. When you sing in the school choir I hear the voice of an angel.

This summer you went away to camp for the first time, and it looked like you weren't coming home. You wouldn't pack up until the last boy had left. Between the freedom, and the archery and shooting, games, canoeing and other stuff, you found your own heaven on earth. It's going to be heartbreaking, but this summer I will let you go for as long as you want.

Congratulations on winning the championship with your hockey team, and winning district finals in soccer, but I’m glad you were just as happy when your baseball team lost nearly all their games. You celebrate the game more than the wins. This summer you overcame fears from last summer's waterskiing and tubing, and you became fearless on the lake. Your snow skiing and snowboarding skills come as naturally to you as breathing. I imagine that, although you think you want to go to college at Vanderbilt like your dad, or Notre Dame like your Uncle Dan, I think you’re going to end up in the mountains where I’ve seen your spirit explode.

Sports are your first love, but you leave a lot of room for other passions. Its fun watching you develop your own taste in music, and I’m getting used to Green Day posters and the Foo Fighters blasting from the stereo.

I’m also glad you are becoming a reader. I had my doubts, wrenched over your love of video games, and worried that you would only read for school assignments, but you’ve started asking for books, and your buddy Michael has got you hooked on the boy’s Dear America series. You recently devoured Old Yeller, a book I thought would be too emotionally wrought for you, but you fell in love with the story and talked at dinner about how books like that stick with you forever.

It's also awesome watching how you relate to animals, and your new cat Shadow would follow you to the ends of the earth. Lelaini is getting used to sharing your attention with the cats, but she knows she rules the outdoor universe, and weekends at the farm, with you.

Have an awesome day celebrating today playing Laser Tag with your friends. I’ll be the one crying tears of joy in the light of 12 candles (one to grow on).

God’s blessings, and all my love,

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1 comment:

Laura said...

Awww... *sniffle* My nephew turned 12 in October. I've been feeling pretty sentimental about that. I was his "other Mother" for a few years when he was a little baby till he was 4. Still very close. Hard to believe he is 12 now and just as tall as I am.