Monday, March 24, 2008

To My "Baby" Boy:


You aren't a baby anymore. Still, sometimes I am so glad that you occasionally delight in things appropriate for your age. You still love Webkinz and Build-a-Bear. You are still content to play with the little superhero figures that look cute. And I realized tonight that Monopoly is your favorite game. Your jokes are still silly, and your conversation when your brothers aren't around is delightfully immature, and I'm relieved. It's just that you have no idea how much older than you your brothers really are, and you try so hard, so often to be like them. I don't want you to lose these years of being a little boy.

I can't believe all you are doing. Someone told me today how much they enjoyed hearing you talk about the work we are doing each day at the church. You were telling her how hard you have to work, and how fast. It always amazes me how when it's just you and me, you manage to get it done even more quickly, and to do Stephen's jobs too! Of course, it frustrates you that I don't give you as many choices in jobs as your brothers, but I suppose you really can't understand that you are just not as reliable in vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms yet. This year you have learned to add big numbers, read unusual words, ride your bike, take care of your dog, count your allowance and determine if you have enough for a purchase, and so much more! Your favorite place is outside in the back yard, or your bedroom listening to "Hank, the Cowdog" or "Junie B. Jones" stories. It tickles me that your favorite fictional characters: Junie B., Hank, Curious George, and Fudge, are all just like you!

I've worried about you this year. I especially worried about your reading. When you were evaluated last year, the teacher placed you a year behind in reading and suggested I hold you back. That seemed silly to me since we were homeschooling, so I started investigating what might be preventing you from learning better. You have been diagnosed with ADHD and the Physician's Assistant also detected some potential auditory processing problems. In spite of all that, you have progressed in reading, and although you are still slow, you are able to read real books now, as well as food labels, signs, magazine covers, and lots more things I don't really want you to read! You love to be read to, but I'm afraid I don't do it enough. I have tried to pick out some "classic" kids books that I think you would like--Charlotte's Web, Mr. Popper's Penguins, various classic picture books, and others, and you have enjoyed them all. Right now we are reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Your friendships still tend to be with your brothers' friends. I have tried to encourage you to play with other boys your own age, but you aren't that interested. Not that you don't enjoy time with boys your age, you just don't yearn for it or consider it often. I figure in time, God will bring into your life a special friend mostly your own.

One of my favorite things about you is your very tender heart. You love people--really love people. You easily see their needs and are quick to pray for them or devise a way to help them. One of the hardest things to teach you has been to wait and ask if you can help, because often your "help" doesn't take into consideration the potential complications it brings to the "helpee." Nevertheless, you have a real gift for ministry, and I love that you are so tender to people.

It is hard to believe you are eight today. You have grown so much. I was watching you sleep last night and thinking how long your legs are. When did they get like that? If Stephen doesn't go through a growth spurt soon, I'm afraid you will catch him in size! Oh, my sweet boy! It is such a privelege to be your mom and to teach you so much. I can't imagine life without you and am grateful for every long day of listening to you chatter on about your interests! I love you so much. I hope you had a wonderful birthday, and I can't wait to see what God is going to do with you this year.


1 comment:

Erin said...

Happy Birthday AJ! I agree with you, Lisa, it's hard to believe he's eight already. I still remember him as a 2 year old at Morgan's wedding, water-soaked shirt untucked, running around the reception room. He still has that huge smile he had back then. I loved the pictures.