Unbelievably, incredibly, completely without fairness or justice– you will turn 11 tomorrow. ELEVEN. (When you’ve only been 10 for 5 minutes. And alive for maybe a week.)
Our middle school kid is growing up too fast– you love to tease me about this– even while, sometimes, you are so sweetly sensitive to it. We can’t slow down time– and there is very little about this year that I would change– other than it went by too fast.
This year has taken you to so many magical places– you slept in the Natural History Museum in New York City, made a snow ball in the shadow of Mont Blanc, spent two weeks in Deutschland without us (stories that you dole out to your Dad and I that amaze us), relished a week in the woods at church camp, hit happy hour on the fancy Club floor of a Chicago hotel, spent a week with the Grandparents at the Cottage, and learned the Shema at family camp. This summer was insane– you spent a month in Europe between Germany and France. It was fantastic– you’re still pulling out memories and churning them around.
When you finally got home you fell into Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (only because your mother’s copy of HP & the Philosopher’s Stone is missing) and came out the other side having made lifelong friends with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. (Whew! We had concerns that you might be a Muggle…)
You played soccer, read a shelf (or two… or three) of new books [The poor Nate-the-Great series only lasted a few weeks you went through them so fast.], and rediscovered the joys of riding your bike. [Stubborn boy that you are you hardly touched your wheels last year after a nasty fall.]
You graduated 5th grade and met your goal of straight As and figured out that the only consequence to being labeled a nerd is that most of the people that jeer at nerds end up working for one.
You sang in choir, acted in the church play, joined (officially! no longer just a mascot!) the Youts, and memorized the Fruits of the Spirit. And, in the airport while waiting to fly out to Germany you told a youth group there (from Detroit?) that you’ve decided you are going to be a pastor. (An announcement that didn’t surprise us at all.)
Dad and I are so, so grateful for you– and that we get to be your parents. We’re both so glad that you are still eager to cuddle with us both and have someone snuggle you off to bed. (Dad gets most of the night time chats. I get the morning chats. It’s a good trade.) We love your heart and how big it is for trying to understand God’s Word and what it means to be Christian… even while we are beginning to experience glimpses of the sullen teenage moments to come.
This September is bringing so many changes for you with Middle School and band (finally!) and Youts Group– but, remember, Bug– we are here to weather it with you. You’ve got this.
Today was practically perfect. It’s one that we will remember a long, long time. You participated in the Youth Service at church– several people commented on your poise at sharing your scripture passage (Deut. 6:4-7) and your comfort with serving communion. It came as a little big of shock to count the heads of “my” Youts and realize that your familiar, thick-haired one was in the count! After church you helped us get the house ready for your Very Harry Birthday party– we turned it upside down to celebrate Potter style and you loved it. “Mom! This was the best birthday party ever!” (of course two minutes later you asked, “What should we do next year?”) It was fun to watch you and your buddies tear through the house and yard with your wands making up new games.
But my favorite was when everyone was gone and you snuggled up to both of us to say thank you and that you had a wonderful time.
We are, too– we are, too.
I love you, sweet boy– Try to make this year a little less fast, please?
P.S. I have it on very good authority that your Hogwarts letter is due to arrive tonight.