Celebrating Jed's 9th Birthday: Halfway to Adulthood!

We celebrated Jed's 9th Birthday a few days early!  On Sunday we invited two family friends over for lunch and dessert after church.  The Horsleys and Sondereggers are both families who share similar opinions on how to raise boys.  Their boys are already good kids and I can only hope they will be the best of influences on my own boys as they play together around the neighborhood this summer.  After eating some lasagna, we adults chatted while the kids played outside... on a drizzly day.  Then it was time to open presents and devour Jed's favorite dessert: peanut butter brownies!  It was a loud and chaotic three hours, but completely worth it; Jed felt so loved.  These low-key parties are totally my jam.  A big thank you to our friends for making Jed's birthday feel so special!    

Dear Jed,

Happy 9th Birthday!  I admit, I felt like a nostalgic mess while editing these birthday photos.  All I can see in these pictures is a little two and four year old you sitting in this exact spot blowing out candles.  It wasn't that long ago.  But you suddenly look so tall and grown up today.  In fact, I am reminded that nine years old means that you are halfway grown!  Yikes.  I am questioning all of my parenting now.  Unfortunately, I am afraid I come up short everyday.  I love you so much, Jed.  I only want the best for you.  I hope you can forgive me for all that I am not and concentrate on the positive things that I am and work so hard to provide for you.  After all, this life isn't about perfection (even though your mama is a perfectionist).  This life is about learning and growing, becoming better than we were yesterday.          

I am so proud of you, Jed.  You are cautious by nature and often hesitate before diving in to what everybody else is doing, but I watched you overcome your fears many times this year.  It happened mountain biking.  It happened hiking.  It happened while at a family reunion.  There was a giant slide as tall as a three story building that all your cousins were having a blast riding down.  The catch is, you don't like heights.  After sitting at the top and turning around a couple of times, you mustered the courage and went for it.  You loved it.  From then on, you zoomed down the slide every chance you got!   

You participated in your first football season this year.  You liked it, but right now, you believe that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) will be your niche.  I hope so because you have a big imagination and really have a knack for inventing all sorts of Lego ideas from scratch.  Your dream is to become an engineer when you grow up.

You've been plugging along at practicing the ukulele and can play more chords than I can count!  I think developing a talent for music gives you some self confidence and pride in yourself.  

You were also a feisty wrestler on the mats this season.  No one could pin you because you somehow managed to roll back over onto your stomach every time.  You expressed how much of a personal win that was for you!   

School this year has gone okay.  You like to get lazy when I'm not on top of reminding you of your responsibilities, but you know how to kick it back into gear.  You can be pretty self-motivated when you want to be.  I sometimes worry about how well you're actually doing in school though, both academically and socially.  You don't like to slow down to sound out new words when you read, your hands still shake when you're excited or nervous, and you have a hard time reading social cues.  So far though, neither your teacher or you have voiced any concerns so I'm rolling with it.  

Jed, you are a great big brother and example to your little brothers.  You have a natural desire to do what's right.  You're also such a smart sponge.  You remember every scripture story and can reiterate it at a moment's notice.  

However, you're also the biggest pest to your brothers.  Your favorite pastime is to antagonize them.  Whenever you are the least bit bored, you poke and prod and tease them for a reaction.  It drives me bonkers.  Unfortunately, your dad says that you probably won't outgrow it til you're 25... and even then that's hopeful thinking.  So I guess we will live with the constant rollercoaster of fri-enemies in this house.  Just remember that brothers always circle around back to each other.

I thought you might have lost your mind last year when you turned eight years old.  It was like you suddenly forgot that other people existed!  (By the way, you almost always let Levi do the majority of whatever chore was assigned to you guys before getting your rear in gear.)  Fortunately, I see that selfless, thoughtful, and responsible person that I know returning.  Child development, geez, it's a doozy!  Nine is going to be better; I can feel it.

I love you so much, Jed!  Don't you ever forget it.  You're a good kid.  And you're accomplishing and learning so much.  Thanks for making me a mom.  I'm enjoying this wild ride alongside you.    

Love, Mom

^^That happy "Thanks Mom," look for his brand new Razor scooter he was hoping to get!^^
^^New jeans that don't have any homeless holes!  Jed started the school year in size 8 pants but now wears a size 10.  And all of them have holes in the knees.^^
^^In awe of the Breakout Beast toy!  Lol.^^
^^Levi bought Jed a transformer toy with his own money.  That kid is so generous.^^
^^Amusing me by standing next to his window for a couple of nine year old portraits.^^

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