It’s hard to believe you are a decade old. That is two hands worth of age, and you are over halfway to being a man.
So let me take a moment and talk to you. You may never read this, but I wanted to say this.
I am immensely proud of both of you. As you have grown up into the young men you are I’ve watched you become more and more aware of the world around you.
I see two young men who are loving and caring and wish to help others. I am so proud of that. It doesn’t always show, and I don’t say it often enough, but I am proud of you. You may not get along with your sister as much as I’d like, but what siblings get along always?
I love how you both like to cuddle. It makes me smile. Though your hugs are becoming dangerous as you get older. I’m not strong enough to stand up through some of your “jump hugs” or your newer version the “tackle hug.” I have to brace myself to be ready for it.
It makes me smile to see you cuddling with your Dad or a blanket. It amuses the heck out of me that you both brought several stuffed animals on our last trip.
I am so thankful you are in no hurry to grow up. More thankful than words can express. It makes me proud to see the two of you this afternoon as I write this post playing with a two year old and his older brother equally well, and how well you play with your younger cousins.
You are amazing young men in your own right and the insights you have and the questions you ask me sometimes leave me wondering where they come from.
I love your friendship with each other, even when it frustrates your sister and I. Ever since you’ve been babies you haven’t wanted to be apart from each other, and I don’t see that changing any century soon.
I look forward to seeing you someday discover girls don’t have cooties. It’s rather hard to imagine right now as you pretended to fall over dead earlier today when we watched a movie.
This year, your Dad and I are planning to transition you to “manhood training” (for lack of a better term), so far we’ve treated you as kids, kids training to be responsible young men, but kids. Now we plan on treating you like the young men you are. We will be looking to you to be more responsible and take the lead as the young man you are. I know you can do it. Some of this I’m sure you will love.
So, we are going to leave you alone for short times, with no adults there to give you the responsibility you’ve earned. We’ll ask you to do hard or scary things sometimes like go into a store by yourself, because it’s part of growing up being able to do things for yourself.
We’ll expect more from you in school. I know you won’t like that, I’ll expect more writing, and better handwriting. I’ll expect you to fully explain your thoughts, not give me a short hand answer.
We’ll expect you to cook dinner following a recipe by the end of the year. I think you’ll love that. You always want to help me in the kitchen. Though towards the end you may not think that is as fun.
I can’t wait to see who you both become.
You may notice this picture up above is slightly blurry, and that’s partially because I’m not the best photographer, and partially because you’re never still. You’re always on the move and trying to make us laugh like in the picture. Of all my children, I describe you as my class clown. You always have a joke and a smile to cheer me up.
But life is not all a joke, and I pray you will learn when to laugh and when to be serious. It’s a hard lesson to learn sometimes, and I pray it is not to rough on you learning it.
I pray you keep the tender heart you have that cares for others. At times we might try to “toughen you up,” but in reality I love you the way you are. Don’t lose that tenderness ever.
I look forward to several more years seeing you grow into a strong man of God Superman.
You are my serious child. Not very serious in terms of serious, but you are serious in comparison to my other silly children.
You have such a loving heart. You are our peacekeeper. You look to see how you can help or serve others.
You are so brave. Your Dad still talks about you going up to sing in front of the Navajo because you wanted to praise God. That baffles him.
I pray you keep your loving heart and it is protected. I thank God for it and how you encourage me every day. You are a tremendous blessing to me.
Someday you will make a wonderful giving husband. I can’t wait to see that, I also tear up at the idea of you loving another woman more than me, but that’s as it should be, even if I’m not ready for it right now.
I love you so much my dear boy.
And for those who are curious: