Hello, dear boy. I know this post is a day early, but I just couldn't wait to celebrate you. Nine years! Nine years of getting to know you. Nine years of loving you. Nine years of realizing how very much Daddy and I like you. Let's see if I can think back all the way to nine years ago:
0-1: With your blond crazy, crazy curls and your blue eyes, we loved your unique look in this family of straight, dark hair, and even darker eyes. You walked early and many people decided that Daddy had finally gotten payback for his early years - whatever that meant!
1-2: How did you know, even as a one-year old, the joy of eating a donut? You used to crawl under the table and hide so no one would try to share that treat with you.
2-3: A walking, talking dynamo, you were a good sport with all the carseat hours you logged. We took Sissy to preschool, Fritzie to lots and lots of speech, and surprise, you were not only the younger brother but you became an older brother, too. I suppose my memory enhances it, but I think you never complained about the upheaval in your life that year.
3-4: You went to school and discovered your first best friend. You also discovered music. Do you remember how you begged us to help you find a way to make beautiful music? And so we began our music lessons journey. And then there was the soundtrack for Phantom of the Opera. You wore that one out.
4-5: You discovered that not everyone has the same physical strengths and you begged us for leg braces so your buddy wouldn't be the only one wearing them at school.
5-6: Do you remember hearing your teacher swear repeatedly during a phone call? She had no idea there were any students in the room, and she surely was nervous when she found you sitting quietly in your seat. You were scared that you would get in trouble for being in the room, and proud that you finally learned some swear words.
6-7: You asked to be baptized and opted to read your testimony. Daddy and I were nervous because we thought you couldn't read. It turned out that you not only could read, but read very well. First grade. Your first love affair. We didn't even mind that she was 40 years older and already married. It was genuine and mutual.
7-8: We got a straight talking to about your giftedness and our responsibilty in guiding your exceptional mind. Daddy and I have lost some sleep when we think of your potential and all that it implies.
8-9: Your reading level went through the roof, your attitude got mighty big, and your faith became very real to you. And then there was the night you told me, "My mouth slips sometimes and I call you mom, but in my heart, you'll always be my mama."
So now you're headed into year 9-10 with some true adventures behind you. You've made us laugh, made us yell, and made us realize what a true gift God gave us nine years ago. You tell us you are going to be an "only man" (no wife) and be the father of many, many babies someday. You know what? We can't wait! P.S. Your plan to play the flute? That's okay, too.
Happy ninth and love forever, dearest Bubba!