You are nine today. You stand at almost 5 feet tall and yet I try desperately to gather you into a "snuggle ball" into my lap. You haven't been one of my "littles" for a very long time and still I try to freeze time in my mind.
It's been a weird year for us. So much change. So much busy-ness. So little time for us. I find myself wracked with all kinds of mom guilt.
Your birthday is no exception. Normally we celebrate our little saint (born on All Saints Day) with a big ole' Fall Fest on Halloween - well, that was one of the big changes this year: no Fall Fest. Then we either have a family party or a friend party. This is the "family party year" and it just couldn't happen with all the schedules.
So, in our guilt, we've spread your birthday over the course of a week: a bedroom renovation, pumpkin carving with cousins, out to the movies on a school night, dinner with grandparents and an overnight friend. Well, I guess it wasn't so bad after all. Lol.
This has been a year of your mom and dad letting go and helping you to step into "big kid" life. You like your place as the baby, so taking steps to grow up isn't always something you want to do. It's been a challenge in some regards. We had to make some tough decisions and draw some hard lines in the sand. But now, looking back over the past year, we don't regret a minute of it.
You continue to be the funniest person in our family. You just still naturally know what will make us laugh.
During your room renovation, we found two large, plastic lizards that you used to hide all over the house in an effort to scare us -- when you were 3. I had found them in the pantry, in the shower and in the refrigerator at any given time during those months. And yes, I jumped every time.
When we found them at the bottom of your closet last week, you exclaimed, "Yes!! My prank lizards!" And have proceeded to hide them all over the house again. And yes, I jump every time.
As we continue to walk through some character development issues with you, we see that your love for Jesus and others grows daily. We are proud of you. You are filled with grace and forgiveness, and lately, I feel like I require a lot of that from you.
I love you, Boo.