Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ethan's Birthday Letter - Nine Years

Sweet boy,

I feel change in the air. Nine years old is not a little boy anymore. Christmas and your birthday weren't full of action figures and toys, but things like ds games, an aquarium, nerf guns, a crossbow, and ocarina, and lunch out with mom and dad. Of course, the little boy still came out in fits of absolute giddiness at being out to lunch or getting an unexpected gift, but my boy is growing up.

I want to stop it, and then, again, I don't. Because I'm already seeing glimpses of the extraordinary man you're going to be. Your tender heart, that, while sometimes is far too easily bruised, also is so very sensitive to the things of God. You're a people-pleaser, but even more than that you're a God pleaser. You feel personally every misuse of His name. You are not afraid to speak for Him to friends and teammates. You care about doing what's right. And you can't stand to be in sin. When you were caught doing something wrong recently, you were so very upset. Much more upset with yourself for doing wrong than for the discipline you received.

But I can't pick you up anymore. I remember thinking about when the last time I carried you would be, but then I don't remember if that was it, or if it came later.

But you're too big to carry now. Uggh. I wasn't done carrying you. I'll always carry your sweet little boyness in my heart. Pausing here while I put myself back together...

So yes, back to the pet thing. I kept thinking about what to do, this too busy, too allergic mama. But you asked to spend your Christmas money on a goldfish, and the time was right. (You ended up with a beta, though.) You name him Nick. And said he needed a middle name, so I suggested Sebastian. And you said, yes, Nicholas Sebastian --------. I hope he doesn't break your heart. I hope he's a hardy little beta.

Cub Scouts was a big part of your year. You are growing to be a lover of outdoor things. You are seriously bummed that a January birthday doesn't make a nature hike party or camp out a very good idea. I don't think you realize how much you are like your dad in this love of nature. It's so hard for him to do those kinds of things with you now, but he loved them too. Still does. And I'm glad that you guys can still do some of these things together. Cub Scouts makes that a little easier. And you are so cute in your uniform. I know you'll hate that I said that, but I think you still secretly like being told that too, even if you have hit the gagging phase tolerance level for sappy things. Yep, you used the word "sappy" today and knew what it meant. Didn't know that was on your radar.

Football wasn't really your forte as it had been in years past, but that's okay. I'm glad that you ended up enjoying it after all, and I'm sorry the weather didn't cooperate as well. You have so many talents it's hard to know what I ought to be signing you up for! I also want you to have friends and get lots of exercise. You love swimming and are good at that. But you also are finally interested enough in learning the piano to practice, and you'd like to learn how to play your guitar. And art. The drawing and now sculpting are way beyond me, but I want you to have the materials you need. You were so excited to get modelling clay tonight!

There's so much I want to teach you, but already at age nine I feel like I'm running out of time. So much to learn, so little time. Your time with me is half gone. Half gone! Is it possible? Be still my soul. I'm so glad I'm not a mama bird with just a few months, eighteen years is flying by, but I know you'll be ready. Your daddy is pouring his heart into you. He wants you to know God and to know His Word thoroughly so that your foot doesn't stumble. And he teaches you diligently. I want you to absorb God's words, hiding them in your heart. This is the best thing I can teach you, because His words give life, are eternal, and will accomplish His purposes in you.

Last year you were overwhelmed by the lack of boys in your life. But you have taken great joy now in being the best big brother to your little sisters (well, usually, the older they are the more they can get on your nerves, huh?). And you've made your first really good friend in our neighbor, William. I'm glad that you finally have a boy in your life on a regular basis, you wouldn't believe the things mothers start to feel responsible for and guilty over. I'm praying this year that William will come to know and love Jesus as you do, so that you can be the best of friends for a long time.

Bella Grace is a beautiful gift to all of us this year, but I will never forget your sweet face shining with tears of joy as you held your baby sister for the first time. I knew that you planned to watch over her for the rest of her life. I hope she survives it :^) - she's blessed to have a brother like you.

You are always volunteering to go with me on errands, especially at night, and I love your chattering company.

What do you love this year?

  1. Zelda. I finally found a Link costume I could make for you for Halloween. Wish I had been able to do that when you were still in the dress-up stage. You don't play dress-up much anymore. Some days I miss my four year "superhero of the hour".
  2. Your nintendo ds. Rosie got a Leapster 2 for her birthday and thus began the descent of handheld gaming systems in our household. Before long, Anna Kate had bought a Leapster off Craigslist and you were gathering together every penny you had to get your ds. You got it off Craigslist too and have loved it. I'm still just amazed at how easy they make a 10 hour car trip. If only Bella could play a ds!
  3. At the beginning of the year you still vacillated between Star Wars toys and Transformers. But now you say that you're not into those things anymore. You want a nature bedroom now. We bought pine garland and pine cones in after Christmas clearance. We'll see if this is a new phase or the new you.
  4. You loved shooting the bow and arrow at the Cub Scout sleepover and also shooting, there, and occasionally with Pa. I think that Nerf Gun and the crossbow may figure big in this new year.
  5. Drawing. If you're not on the ds or computer (can't forget Guild Wars), you're probably drawing.
  6. And your mp3 player was a permanent fixture this year - until you got your ds. Did I mention that you love that thing?

In school, math is a little trickier because we're still working on those times tables. The cursive writing is starting to get a bit more comfortable. The reading is so much better! Now to make you love that enough to do it on your own more :^) You're getting there. You enjoy science and social studies too.

I always wonder what really important stuff I've forgotten in these letters. But I guess I'll just say, "I love you" and I still "wanna wake up every morning to your sweet face." Just like when you were three.

Forever and for Always,


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