Today you are eight years old. For some reason, this seems like a strange, in-between age because you're not quite big but you're not a baby anymore.
You're definitely growing and changing, even from day to day. You are trying more things now, things that used to scare you or simply make you uncomfortable. I don't think you are ever going to be a huge risk taker, but you're getting braver all the time. I couldn't believe the number of crazy rides you and Lottie rode at the fair this year; you laughed and screamed and smiled while I stood watching from the sidelines. That's good, though, and it makes me happy. It means you're growing up and gaining independence, and that is what Dad and I have always tried to help you do.
You are still quite the rule follower at school, but I have noticed you beginning to test things a little at home. Good for you! Most of your actions are done with good humor and silliness, but I'm glad to see you breaking out of your shell a tiny bit. After all, you're never going to learn from your mistakes if you don't allow yourself to make any.
In some ways, you're still the same boy you have been since you were little. One cross word makes your head go down and your lip tremble, even if you're not the one in trouble. You take other people's pain as your own, and you try to prevent sadness for anyone whenever you can. You're slowly learning that you can't stop bad things from happening, that you can only control your own reaction to those things.
You love to cuddle and snuggle, especially at night, and you get a lot of joy from doing things for other people. The thought of someone being bullied or left out makes you angry and sad, and I'm proud when you take the steps to help a friend. You still take my hand when we walk through a parking lot, and I know that won't last too much longer. While I have it, I relish feeling your warm, not-so-small hand holding on to mine.
Of course, you still love your Xbox, and this year you have moved more into being obsessed with Terraria, although Disney Infinity, Minecraft, Lego Dimensions, and Skylanders are all on the radar, too. You enjoy reading almost as much as you like video games, and it makes my heart happy to walk by your room when you're lolling on the bed with a book.
Although it seems to get harder, you are a wonderful brother to Lottie. As you both grow, you're arguing a little more, but I know that despite it all, you are there for each other when it counts. Even when she bugs you, try to remember that she was your first best friend, and she will always be in your corner.
My wish for you this year is that you always continue to be the amazing boy that you are. Keep loving and full-body laughing. Ask for help when you need it, and give help where you can. Remember that being kind is always the best choice to make, but don't ever let anyone put you down or treat you badly. Stand up for what you know in your heart is right.
I love seeing you gain more and more confidence in yourself. You can do so many things if you have
Thank you for making our family complete.
I love you, and I love you, and I love you,