We celebrated The Boy's 12th birthday yesterday. This is my chance now to honor and reflect all that he's done and accomplished over this past year.
Last December we took care of his recurrent strep throat with a little visit to the hospital for a tonsil removal. His throat was pretty sore, especially in the morning, but he trooped through it!! I know it was a good move because we have had a strep free home ever since!!!
It has been awesome watching The Boy grow and learn over the past year. I think he is learning more and more who he is and where he belongs in our family, among his peers and in the eyes of God.
In our family, I expect a lot from him. He is the oldest and I really expect him to be a role model to his younger brothers.
He attended a babysitting class this summer and became Red Cross certified. This gives me peace of mind in so many ways. We haven't left him for hours with his brothers yet and we haven't ever left him home alone with Little Dude. But, I have the flexibility to run and do something real quick without packing up all 3 of them; if I am running a little behind I know The Boy and BuhBuh will be OK after bus time for a few minutes until I do get home. When he is home, it allows me to take a shower and know that for 20 minutes Little Dude is going to be OK in his brother's care.
I expect him to contribute to the way our home functions and have given him more and more responsibilities around the house. With that we have been more consistent with his allowance
And although there is some serious tension between The Boy and BuhBuh, they really do all love each other and look up to him as their big brother. He doesn't always like that role in this family, but he does a pretty good job at it.
The Boy doesn't have a lot of friends. This worries The Daddy because he had a lot of friends when he was growing up. It occurred to me that the reason he doesn't have a lot of friends is because he expects A LOT out of the few he does call friend. This is not a bad thing.
He does not tolerate disrespect, he does not tolerate people who are rude, crude or mean. He does not feel pressure to "fit in" or conform to what the "cool" kids are doing. He has a moral standard that is far beyond his years and he isn't afraid to pick and choose friends who posses characteristics that may not be popular, but are pure and good.
Instead of worrying about the few friends he has, we as his parents should be applauding his good choices in friends. This hasn't come without any struggles, it's come out of experience. Not too long ago I knew the struggles he was having with some of his peers who he use to consider to be friends. So I prayed that God bring into his life, not a lot of friends but some really good ones. My prayers were answered and I've tried to nurture those friendships so that they can continue to grow stronger.
The transition from elementary school to middle school has gone well. My mommy heart worried about such a huge change and how with that change would come more pressure from peers, more challenging school work and an emphasis with keeping organized with several different classes, teachers, different expectations and not just one locker but two!!!
But, he has done GREAT! His grades are wonderful.
He is involved in soccer, band and choir. He has found his strong spot on the soccer field and I can hear him from the sidelines occasionally being a leader on the field. (I wish I had pictures.) He decided to give choir a try this year. I thought that was really great! I'm glad to see that he's not afraid to try new things. He continued with band this year and I am glad. There are more opportunities for him to perform and play.
I hope he at least sticks it out through middle school and I would be thrilled if he continued to play through high school as well, but it is his choice.
Despite a few bumps along the middle school path, he seems happy and very well adjusted to this new school. It comforts me to know that he can do it and do it well!
The Boy continues to amaze me with his strong faith. This past summer he attended 2 different Church camps each for a week long.
He chose to do a self-defense camp and it was so awesome to watch him confidently break a board with his foot when I went to pick him up at the end of the week. He has seen the instructor at several other camp functions before and since and he seems to have built a bond with him. I was told how much The Boy is enjoyed and what a joy it is to see him so hungry for God.
Also this past summer, The Boy and I had the opportunity to serve together on a Mission Trip.
We worked on two homes that had been damaged by floods.
It was awesome seeing him work and work hard!!! He was the youngest on the trip kept up with the older kids.
At the end of the trip we went to Six Flags and had a fun day of riding roller coasters. I didn't have the "I'll sit here with the baby" excuse this time and what fun it was to ride the coasters with him. We ended the day with a Newsboys concert which again, was fun to do with him and watch him sing and dance and praise God.
Next year at this time My Boy will officially be a teenager. I often spend more time worrying and complaining over things that don't matter rather than appreciating the awesomeness that he has grown up to be so far.
I always have told him that he is special because he made me a mommy. I remember how scared I was when I found out I was pregnant with him. But God is so awesome and good that he can take any situation and turn it into good.
I realized how special and significant The Boy was in our lives when I was sitting in the doctor's office one day when we were trying to get pregnant with Little Dude and she said, "You are lucky that you had kids when you did, otherwise it might not have ever happened"
That one statement made all the guilt and fear of being a young mom to him disappear. He is worth everything that we've struggled with and dealt with because we did start so young. We are where we are because of him coming into our lives. I wouldn't want my life any other way.
I know he's 12 now and he gets frustrated with me when I tell him the I Love Yous before school, but regardless of how old or how tall he becomes, he'll always be the sweet and special little boy that gave me the greatest name anyone has ever called me.....mom.
We'll celebrate with a family lunch of all of The Boy's favorite foods on Saturday. But we always like to make their actual birthday special with streamer art, gifts and a birthday breakfast and their choice of dinner. Here are some pictures.
I look forward to all the sweetness the next year will bring but know we can get through any sour (or ketchupy) moments that may come our way as well.