This year for your birthday, I'm going to do something a little different. Because you are turning 11 (!) today, I'm going to share 11 reasons I love you.
Eleven reasons I love my boy (in no particular order)
1. You are hilariously funny. Almost every day, you say something that makes me laugh hard. Most of the time, I don't think you have any idea how funny you are because it's just WHO you are. Although you are an eleven year-old boy who loves scatalogical and slapstick humor, a lot of what you find humorous is rather highbrow. I'm not entirely sure people your own age understand your humor sometimes, but that doesn't seem to stop you from enjoying what you really enjoy.
2. Part of why you have such a sophisticated sense of humor is because you're whip smart. Ever since you were a toddler, you have done and said things that have amazed me. You absorb facts and statistics in the blink of an eye, and you constantly amaze me with bits of trivia you have learned from something you read. I know you love your video games, but you're just as happy with a good book in your hand. I'm so proud that you're well-rounded in your knowledge and your interests.
3. Being sensitive tends not to be cool, but I think you're very cool. Good or bad, happy or sad, you feel all of your emotions with your whole heart. You save worms in the driveway and caterpillars in the street; you truly feel that their lives have just as much meaning as ours. You hate to disappoint anyone or hurt their feelings because you know how that feels, and you hate it. I don't think you expect everyone to be happy all the time, but you certainly don't want anyone to be sad.
4. In the last year, the biggest change I have seen in you is your willingness to try new things. You have gotten into fishing, and you seem to enjoy that quiet time to yourself. You have done dodge ball, theater classes, surfing on the sand at Folly Beach: things I never thought you would do. The older you get, the more confidence you are finding within yourself, and that makes me incredibly happy.
5. You're a rule follower who believes that life should be fair for everyone, and I admire this about you. Intellectually, you know that life really isn't fair, but that doesn't stop you for wanting it to be true. You know right from wrong, and you want justice for those who have been hurt unjustly. As long as you continue to follow your heart, I know you'll be fine when you have to choose between different paths to follow.
6. I'm fully aware that you and Lottie fight sometimes and have disagreements. I also know that you love each other. I mean, you're never going to admit that, not now, but I know you do. Even when you two are mad at each other for whatever reason, it blows over quickly and I smile because I hear you laughing together. When one of you has good news, you run to tell each other as soon as possible. Don't ever let anyone tell you that being friends with your sister is silly or weird; she was the first friend you ever had, and she'll always be there for you just like you'll always be there for her. Because...
7. Once again, I know it isn't cool to be sweet, but you are, kid. You worry about people and do you best to make them feel good. I think being sweet and kind is different from being sensitive, and I think it's lucky that you're both. You have the ability to read people and know what to do or say. You carry their pain in your heart until you know that everything is okay.
8. When you laugh, really laugh, you do it with your entire body. You roll on the couch, on the floor, and you let it all out. Seeing you laugh delights everyone around you, especially Dad and me. Your smile takes over your whole face, and a beautiful smile it is.
9. I adore the way you treat animals. From the time you were little, I rarely had to remind you to be gentle with pets because you always were. When you spend time with our dogs, you're not mindlessly petting them but really playing or just having quiet time with them. I think that's why they love you so much; they know that you would never hurt them and that you love them for who they are. They're so lucky that you're their boy.
10. You know how to have fun, but you also take things pretty seriously. I think you're determined to be the best you can be at everything you do, and if you're not good at it, it's dumb. You're getting better at giving yourself a break, though, and realizing that you don't have to be perfect at everything. Life takes practice, and most of the time, the only way to get through something is to go right through it.
11. You are one of the shining stars in my life. I'm beyond grateful that you're mine. There are so many more than eleven things that I love about you, but if I were to list them all, this blog post would never end. Thank you for being unapologetically you. I love who you are, and I always will.
I love you the most of the most,