Friday, February 18, 2011

Eleven and Counting

Happy eleventh birthday, my creative, courageous, fun-loving boy.

Branson, you continue to teach me that I need to be teachable, that I don't have you figured out. Just when I think I know you or anticipate your next move, you surprise me. I want to keep learning you.

As you turn eleven, here are just a few things I hope to remember: 

- You've done it. You've beat me in arm wrestling. Up until the last year or so I could hold my own against you. No more. You're the victor, fair and square. Try to remember HUMBLE HEART.
- You're a writer. I learned this last year getting to teach you at home. Your great Granny was a wordsmith, a poet, an exquisite writer. As is your Cappy. And your mommy makes some attempts. Where writing's concerned, I owe more to my genes than a college degree. You too have that gift. And I didn't know it until last year. You keep consistent word tense, you have a gift for description and character development, and you can simply tell when things sound good. And that dramatic imagination of yours doesn't hurt!
- You're a hard worker. You stick with things, whether it's staining a bench or finishing a section of Wordly Wise or wiping down the kitchen counter after clearing dishes. Even when it's something you don't want to do, you'll finish the task thoroughly. Most of the time.
- Even when you HATE raking leaves, you are gratified through hard work (22 bags and counting)
- You jump into tasks and projects head-first, not worrying with perfection. Even when you don't want to do it, you are fantastic about just "doing the worst first."
- Practical joker. Can you EVER go upstairs for bed without messing with Hud? Nothing holds more intrigue than wrapping houses, ice cream that smells funny, and whoopie cushions.
- You always, always want to be in the know. When? Where? Why? Who? What? As Daddy wrote on last year's Valentine, the Great Inquisitor. 
- Leadership. You are amazing with building into younger children, and you seem to have a lot of opportunities for spending time with younger boys especially, and making them feel significant. 
- You are crazy creative. With problem solving, organization, lyrics and songs, artwork, even relational strategies and thinking through what to communicate with people. You are able to come up with creative solutions and options almost effortlessly.
- You have matured in the last couple of years tremendously, and aren't near as concerned about what others think. Makes me trust your decision making more to see you thinking independently.
- One of your best qualities - valuing others. Like your Daddy, you are genuinely interested in others, and ask a zillion questions. I love that.

Daddy and I are both proud to be your parents, to get to live in the same home as you. Anytime I'm  meeting someone new or someone I haven't seen in awhile, I'm looking around for you to make sure I get to be associated with you. Keep making us look good! And that prayer I pray over you every  night is heartfelt - thank you Lord for letting me be Branson's mom.
Love you, B. Happy happy eleventh!