Thursday, May 8, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday to my Oldest (Annual Birthday Letter)

My dear little man,

Today you are 9.  You are half way through your childhood, in only 9 more years you will be an adult. But, no matter what age you are, you will always be my baby.  It’s hard to believe that as quickly as time has passed in the past nine years that in the same amount of time, you will be ready to go out into the world on your own.  The realization of this makes me want to treasure our time even more.  I do love spending time with you Nicholas Gabriel.  You are so funny and smart.  We can have the most amazing conversations and laugh over the silliest things.  Some of my favorite times with you are just sitting on our front porch swing talking. 

I also love your adventurous spirit.  This year you were able to go snorkeling for the first time.  It was such an amazing experience.  Swimming beside you and holding your hand while we explored the reef, pointing out the fish, swimming AWAY from the barracuda, being brave, having fun, and being in awe of how clear and blue the water was and of course, making memories.  I loved watching you as you took in the beauty and the wonder of this new world you had never before seen.  So many wonderful memories.  Thank you, Nicholas, for giving me the opportunity to experience the world through your eyes and helping me to see the beauty.  Sometimes as we get older, we forget to notice how beautiful the world is.  We get so busy that we just don’t take the time to see.  I pray, my extraordinary little man, that you always remember to take the time to see the beauty around you and remember to thank God for it.  Never take for granted how blessed we are with the opportunities we have had.  Be thankful and be humble and with every opportunity, share those blessings with others.

Speaking of sharing, I am in awe of your heart.  Your willingness to help others amazes me and I also pray that you never lose that.  When you came up with the idea, all on your own, to donate money to weather disaster victims, instead of getting birthday presents, I could not contain my joy.  I have always tried to teach you and live by example that we should do all we can to help others; I am thankful that you have listened and stepped up to help fill needs when you see them.

Your first year at the “Big Kids” elementary school has been outstanding.  You have maintained straight A’s the entire year!  Please know, my bright boy, that as happy as I am that you have all A’s, what is most important is that you do your best.  I have always told you that it does not matter to me if you win or lose, if you get the best grade or the worst, as long as you truly did your best, as long as you are kind, as long as you don’t give up.  Those are the some of the things I want most for you.  Your character is more important than any grade.  The type of man you will become, the way you treat others, the life you lead, the love that you share and what you do with the blessings God has given you will always be what matters most.

This past year was the first year you played football.  You also continued with baseball and soccer.  It’s amazing to me to see how much better you’ve become!  You have really grown as an athlete.  Your first time up to bat this year you scored your team’s first home run of the season!  How exciting!  Always be a good sport, my precious son, be humble with your gifts and encourage others.  ALWAYS.  I will love you and be proud of you no matter what, but when I see you encouraging others and being a good sport, even when you are losing, I am more proud of you than if you were to hit a home run every time at bat and catch a pop fly during every inning.

In closing, my sweet boy, I will simply say I love you more and more with each passing day.  You and your brother are, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the reason I am on this beautiful earth.  You help give me purpose, you fill me with love, you amaze me, you fill my heart to overflowing.  Thank you, Nicholas, for being you.

I love you!  Always and forever, to the moon and back,


His annual birthday video can be found here.

Last year's letter can be found here.