So this tiny little nugget of human turns 10 at 6:31pm. The moment we found out about him, we were forever changed, the moment we met him, we were forever in love and the moment we held him, my heart was forever his.
Ten sounds so big... so much bigger than nine. But with that big comes comfort. I see not who he is becoming, but who he IS. Right now in this moment and the 1000s of moments to follow. In honor of this major milestone I'm going to share 10 things that we love about being the parents of this amazing kid.
You are easy to love and not just because you are ours. I can't count the number of times that adults have complimented me on your manners, the way you articulate yourself and how easy it is to just sit and talk to you. "He's so pleasant to be around" is my favorite latest compliment.
You love good food. You would eat sushi at every meal. You prefer club sandwiches to kids' meals. You have eaten six fried eggs (over easy) in one sitting.
You live out loud. Everything is big... Big ideas, big dreams, big laugh. And most importantly, a great big giant heart. You ache when others are hurting. You want to help others. You genuinely want to understand why we (humans) cause each other pain. You cry at sad movies and awesome books. You care for others deeply. You give us hope that the good in the world far outweighs the not-so-good.
Best big brother ever. Seriously. You love "the sisters" as you refer to them. They drive you crazy. They make you mad. They totally get away with more than you would like... but you offer love, you offer encouragement and you lead by example (when you aren't telling them what to do). You are patient and caring. You will attempt to play dolls and let them play swords. You set up epic nerf battles and scooter races. When you get frustrated and ask us why you have to be the oldest we remind you that God hand-picked you for this job.
You still fit in my lap. I could pick you up if I really needed to and I would carry you into school if you asked. Your head is growing increasingly closer to mine, but for now, you fit perfectly under my chin. You aren't afraid to hold my hand and you put up with me annoying you at school. You say "I love you" when your friends are around and you still call your Dad "Dada" from time to time. 10 may be big... but you are still little.
Speed round: You are silly and funny and happy and just the best kid to be around. You are still obsessed with sharks. You make home videos like Dude Perfect. You dream. You are the best snuggler. You ask for help. You offer help. You try new things. You get mad when we make you go to bed. Or take a shower. You eat on the right side of your mouth because you still aren't sure that front left tooth is going to stay in. You believe in others. You believe in yourself. You believe in me. Most importantly, you believe in the glory of God. You love Jesus. You praise him and glorify Him. You aim to serve Him and you love others just as he loves us.
Just look at that laugh. It's the best.
You take an awesome picture.
You aren't afraid to be yourself. Long hair? No problem. Meeting new people? Bring it. Your teachers told me that you are the only kid in class that connects with a specific classmate that is shy. You go out of your way to make him feel connected. You include him, you embrace his differences and you make sure that he feels part of the whole. You shine brightly because you shine true. You stand up for what you believe in, seek the best in others, and aren't afraid to do hard things.
You are the best sport there is. I mean, this is your village, buddy. Embrace it.
I could list 110 reasons I love you and I'm still not convinced that you'd be able to understand just how much that really is. God blessed us abundantly with you, Radley. My life's ambition is to make you and your sisters as proud as you make me. Happy birthday... I love you!