Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Tortuga!

I'd been working on this for a while but just posting now. I will move it to its appropriate spot in a few days...

Happy Birthday Tortuga!

I cannot believe you are 10 years old! There's something about 10 that seems to signal that you are really growing up. Even though you have only lived with us for two years I have known you as a 7, 8, 9 and now 10 year old. I like how it works out that way. These days you are really into football hence the football themed cookies and creme cake. At school you have been playing football during both recesses until recently when you lost the privilege for being too competitive. That is still something you are working on. You want so badly to be good at everything that you act like you are the best at everything even if you have only tried it once. Still, you get to play flag football on Sundays and you love it. You smile so much of the time you are on that field even when you are on the sidelines. I can see how happy it makes you. There are so many things other things you really like to do including basketball, swimming and practically any sport. You like running and making noise especially outside. You like to draw, do math problems, do reading comprehension workbooks with multiple choice questions, write stories, and help me with chores. You also love music and you will start guitar lessons this summer. You are excited about that because it is something you have wanted to do for a while. In many ways you aren't the "typical" 10 year old boy especially with the things you like to do.
For your birthday you couldn't pick anything you wanted except for Warriors books. So we bought you 12 Warriors books and will be surprising you with them over the next several weeks. We got you a few other things you will like such as a basketball of your own, football cards, and a couple of games. I am secretly proud that books were your only request. You hated books two years ago and saw reading as the worse punishment except for bed without dinner. Now I can send you to read and most of the time you say "YES!" and get a smile on your face. You are a good reader. You read at a solid 4th grade level compared to where you were at the end of second grade when you tested at a mid-kindergarten level. So for parents who think it cannot be done you are an inspiration. You started going to school at age 3 because of your learning needs and yet you still couldn't remember the alphabet when you were a few months shy of being 8. Look at you now! Here you are tackling books that are at about a 5th grade level. You should also know that your Uncle J. (my brother) is reading the same books right now and he is almost 40! I like watching you when you are doing your reading. You are most relaxed at those times. Your body gets very still, you smile, and you are concentrating so intently that it is one of the few times you let your guard down.

I can see how hard you are working these days to do all the things we have taught you are important in our family. You have good manners and say "yes, mom," "excuse me," "please," and "thank you" all the time. You HATED doing that a year ago but now it is a big part of you. You have alot of your routines in place and almost never need reminders unless you are trying to get us to yell at you (you still seem to want us to do that) or are really mad. We no longer have to worry about reminding you all the steps for your morning routine for getting ready for school, your afterschool routine and homework, and your bedtime routine. The great thing is that you don't like some of these routines BUT you do it anyway. If you are mad you still mumble and stomp off (we are working on these things) but you still do them (albeit grudgingly).

You are a caring, sensitive and gentle boy who is still working through all the hurt you have experienced in your young life. You are thoughtful about your family despite all the behaviors you show (often) to push us away. When someone you love is hurt, you are kind and tender and quickly rush to their aid. You didn't do this a year ago. When I say my feet hurt, you quickly offer a footrub. When Milagro falls or starts doing something that is unsafe, you quickly call me and you run to her. You always pick her up ever so gently and use such a soft voice that you reserve just for her. When you go to bed (even after a bad day) you always say "I love you."
I am so proud of you and all the hard work you are doing to become the best kid you can become. I can barely remember what my life was like before you were here and I know for sure that you have helped me become a better mom, a better teacher, and most definitely a better person.

2 comments:

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

such a sweet note to your son!

ldw said...

Beautiful! You are a great mom!

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