You woke up this morning and belted out, "I'm Nine!"
And in one breath, my heart soared and sank.
So happy that your special day had arrived and so sad that this will be your final year before you turn double digits.
And so, I say fondly...here's to you...
Here's to the most voracious reader on the planet, the boy who always has a text in his backpack, a bedside table overflowing with the latest series on Greek mythology, dragons, kings, heroes, or dinosaurs.
Here's to the kindest and most empathetic heart, the child who knows who's sitting alone or who didn't seem quite right at school and offers a smile or a seat at the lunch table.
Here's to the big brother of two very girly girl little sisters who willingly watches Mickey Mouse Club and entertains conversations about princesses and rainbow loom bracelets and the most popular song on the "Frozen" soundtrack.
Here's to the son who sells popcorn, makes pinewood derby cars, and takes seriously the words of his Cubscout promise.
Here's to the child who believes in God...the one who prays in gratitude for his family, his blessings and who prays for the health and safety of others...and who reminds us unfailingly that everything, in all times will be okay because God is at the helm.
Here's to the boy who sings in the living room, who helps to cook in the kitchen, who throws snowballs at his sisters and footballs in the backyard with his dad and gives the best bear hugs in the world.
As you grow, which undoubtedly you will just keep doing, please know that the world, in so many ways is a better place because you are here. Everyday, you teach us how to love, how to trust and how to believe in that which is good and pure.
We are grateful to celebrate and to honor you and can't wait to see the many blessings that God has in store for your new year.
Here's to you, Sam....to the moon and back.