Nine! I know I must sound like a broken record when I say every year: How has this happened? Where did the year go?
What a year this was! Full of angst and hard work and progress. You're reading! Like a maniac, you're reading. It seemed to click overnight, although I know the truth--you were working hard. You still are, eager to burst into newer, longer, and better books. Meanwhile you read everything: street signs, captions on TV, my emails (well, you try). I have discovered in the last week that I can't even leave birthday gift receipts around, because . . . well, you read them! (Oops!) I'm eager to see you continue to progress and learn to love reading to yourself as much as the rest of us do. Just don't expect me to quit reading aloud to you! I love it too much.
You're so independent now. You do almost everything on your own . . . and some days I hate it. Right now you bug me like crazy to teach you to cook. You can make scrambled eggs and grilled cheese. So now we just have to cover a dinner and a dessert and you won't need me anymore! You love telling and retelling stories. Guess that's in your blood too (both your brothers and I are story-tellers!) You write all kinds of stories, from your own episode of Stargate to narration about the Revolutionary War. Obviously writing assignments are hardly necessary for you. You do it on your own!
At times I wish you would slow down a little. I wish you'd slow down so I could enjoy you. You run at mach 5, and I'm so old and tired I can hardly keep up with you. You are also competing all the time to keep up with brothers three and six years older than you, and it breaks my heart that you are rushing through all the little boy stuff that I enjoyed with them. It frustrates you to no end when I set limits like not letting you watch a show or movie that your brothers do, or not letting you take off in a store like they do. That's OK though. You'll be gone from me soon enough.
It's been a whole new experience to approach this birthday with you. First of all, you've had it marked on your calendar and have been counting the days for weeks! You've pretty much planned everything, from how you will spend your day tomorrow, to what you want to do over the weekend to celebrate, to what you want to eat. I think you already know what presents you are getting (probably because of the whole receipt thing, although I think you sneaked into my closet to peek too). All I've heard all day today is "I'm so excited! XX more hours!" Guess that's what I get for teaching you to tell time and use a calendar.
AJ, I love the boy you are becoming. Yes you drive me nuts. But I love your thoughtfulness, your willingness to apologize when you do something wrong, your willingness to still snuggle with your mommy. It's fun watching you grow into someone new, but I like it that you are still the same old Andrew in many ways too. I hope you have a wonderful day!
Happy Birthday sweet boy! I love you!