As the years rush past, it becomes more and more difficult to write this annual birthday post. Not for lack of material, mind you. I am no longer simply recording physical milestones and cute anecdotes. You are such a complex little/big guy these days. Your heart and thoughts run deep. Your questions are thoughtful and hard to answer.
You are changing every day. It seems the bend in my elbow when I rest my hand on your head is a little more pronounced each day. Your legs nearly touch the floor when you sit on my lap. How is that possible? You can run and play and sweat in this Singapore heat and humidity for hours on end, launching Nerf attacks, swimming, and exploring with your friends.
You are into music and video games which we strictly monitor. There is plenty of junk out there that you will hear and see soon enough. You've been exposed to bits of it here and there, but for the most part, you maintain a sweet innocence that brings tears to my eyes.
You are a humble leader. You love to lead a little gang of "troops" around at school and in the neighborhood and are quick to make sure everyone feels included. You are still my sensitive guy who can be wounded by the unkind words of a peer.
It is hard being the oldest in the house. There are times you want to watch shows that your siblings find boring because they aren't animated. You often have one or two brothers begging to tag along in your war games. Your Lego creations are unintentionally destroyed by tiny, playful hands when you are at school (and mom is busy).
You are a master negotiator, an experienced fort builder, a young seeker of truth and God, a cunning business man, a loyal friend, a Lego master, a terrible liar, a kind brother, and the best 9 year old son a mom could ask for. It is my joy and my privilege to be called your momma.
All my love,
Your last night as an 8 year old
Your family birthday picture. Sorry.