Today you are nine. In my head, you have been “nine” for a few weeks now—I just feel like you’ve grown up so much this year. Eight was a big leap, but nine seems natural. I think it’s ten that I will have a hard time with.
Nine suits you well. You aren’t a little kid anymore, and you don’t seem like you’ve been a little kid for a long while now. You don’t do little kid things anymore, and it seems like so far off that you did. You hang out with the big crowd—talk sports, watch highlights and sports clips, baking shows, read chapter books, go to the bathroom all by yourself at stores and restaurants, can navigate around town if you needed to, and act like you own the world. That’s how nine is I guess. Nine is a kid who thinks he knows it all, thinks he is skilled in everything and thinks he owns the world. Nine is going to be very interesting.
Fourth grade is right around the corner, and with that brings new opportunities. Band, orchestra, and intramurals . . . the early bus at school. Nine is so close to double digits . . . and then what happens then? You grow into a man right before my very eyes, even though the moment that you were born was a blink of an eye ago.
I went on a field trip with your class the other day. You held my hand about ten times, which surprised me. Nine is big time, but holding your mom’s hand when she’s at school activities is still okay. Nine means no more little kid things, but kissing your mom goodbye in front of your friends is still okay. Nine means being big and tough and knowing all about sports, but wanting to spend quality time with mommy and daddy is still okay. I guess nine isn’t going to be so bad after all.
I love watching you play the sports that you enjoy, because as an athlete back in my days as well, I know how much joy there is in playing a sport. I know the happiness that being on a team brings. The internal joy that comes from scoring a goal, or getting a great hit or making a basket. It always brings a smile to my face when you are happy with something you’ve done.
You love art still. You like to draw and color and replicate pictures that you see. You love your permanent markers and I don’t know when the last time I saw you use a crayon or Crayola marker was. Your favorite special is art—but that’s closely followed by gym, because you are totally into sports too. You’ve learned to love so many different sports, but you haven’t learned to love to practice them yet. You would love to be really good at them, but haven’t quite figured out that in order to be really good at something, you need to work hard at it all the time and not just for one or two minutes. You’d love to be a great baseball player, soccer player, basketball player, golfer, skateboarder, scooter-er, football player, bowler, swimmer, trampoliner, Frisbee player and every-other-sport-in-the-world expert . . . but being good at all of those things takes far too much time for your attention span, so I think we’re going to have to just pick one or two in the next couple of years and figure out how to make those the best they can be.
It’s so fun to watch your friendships at school blossom. You have found a great group of boys to be friends with. Long are the days when you only play with the girls. I hope that you guys remain friends all through middle and high school and beyond.
Your love of food ever grows. I love that you enjoy “adult” food and appreciate the good stuff. Your sweet tooth came directly from me I’m sure, so I’m pretty certain that there’s no taming that. You have been very much into watching kid’s baking shows and want to practice whenever we let you. You usually have grand ideas for what you’d like to make.
You just had an instrument “test” at school to see what you might be good at if you wanted to go the route of band or orchestra. You came home saying that the three choices that you might have are the clarinet, percussion or the cello. I will be interested to see what you pick. In my head, I was thinking the trumpet or saxophone would be good, but I don’t think those suited you well according to the teacher.
You are still so kind hearted, and one of your love languages continues to be “drawing pictures for people”. Followed by physical touch, quality time and words of affirmation.
You love fruit and jokes and still the color green. You love anything Under Armour and Nike and Abercrombie and dress like one sporty dude. You love riding your scooter around the house and listening to stories with your iPod. You love Harry Potter and love that we have listened to and finally just finished all seven audio books. You love dessert, and the concession stand at baseball, and being up at bat and being part of a team. You love lego sets and movies and anything that involves being with other people. You love campfires and your best friends and offense in soccer (but not defense!). You love your dad, you love snuggling, you still love stuffed animals. You love the Patriots and the Red Sox and the Kid’s Baking Championship. You LOVE Dude Perfect videos and Randy Santel Challenges. You love going on trips and being with your cousins and one on one time with anyone who will give it to you.
I can’t believe I have a nine year old. Life is just flying by. Happy Birthday to my first guy.