How did it happen?
You woke up and are now officially TWELVE...one year away from being a teenager!
There really are no words to express what an incredible young man you are...noble, kind, generous, beyond bright and so much more comfortable in your skin than I was at your age.
I stand 5 feet, 8 inches tall and when you hug me, you come up to my ear. You're only two shoe sizes away from your father and can eat more bowls of cereal and fruit than I ever imagined possible.
This past year has found you finding your way.
Sixth grade has proven to be quite busy, but someway, somehow, you're doing it all.
You play flag football in the fall and spring. You've recently taken up participating on the Speech team and are preparing for your inaugural reading of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven." And every chance you get, your fingers are playing the ivories to the tune of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and everything in between. You're working your way up the ranks as a boy scout learning how to camp in the frigid temps and are competing as a member of the Saint Margaret Mary Saint Thomas Aquinas club contributing your answers to math and history questions at local competitions. You still read late into the night and enjoy watching all of the movies that dad is a champion of--many of which I think you're too young for, but dad seems to know better. And when the homework is done, you join your buddies at the local comic and coffee shop to play coveted games of Magic.
I truly stand in awe of the person that you are becoming.
You are a noble young man. A person who is less interested in what the crowd cares about than what you know to be true in your heart. You've always had an extraordinary north star coupled with a dynamic moral compass and an unfailing gift of faith. You encourage us all to pray for those in need and to give thanks for what we've been given...which in your book is more than enough.
As you continue to grow into a young man, please always remember that this one, very precious life that you have been given by God is to be used for good. It is to be used in service of others. It is to share what you have with the person who is in need.
When you feel scared or unsure, which is bound to happen as you embark upon the teenage years, know that you are not alone. God is always with you and so is your family. We are here to sit with you in uncertainty, and to celebrate with you in the joy, and to cheer you on as you make choices about what comes next.
And there are so many, many amazing things to look forward to...
Thank you for gifting us with your extraordinary spirit, willingness to go the extra mile and unconditional love, especially for those who are sometimes forgotten. We could not be more proud of you or grateful for you.
Happy, Happy Birthday, Sweet Son...
All of my love, always,