And with a fresh gap in his teeth, we begin 2023…and age 8.
In this time of life, 90% of the pics I have of you are playing soccer. I loved having you home this summer, because I could capture more of you in the day to day (when you weren’t busy with friends), but the moment fall came around, it was right back to lots and lots of photos in jerseys. 🙂 I wouldn’t have it any other way, you are really developing as a player and it has become so. much. FUN to watch you this year!
You are still and forever a hot tub fanatic. We will never not have one now, I’m sure, as insurance that you’ll come home to visit us ha!
Shades of pre-teen years loom now, as it’s sometimes hard to get your attention from a screen. We’re doing our best to balance and set limits, but there are still plenty of times that your imagination takes over anyway and you’re off to build and create.
You were a sport about all the structure I planned for us this summer, yes, in part, to stay off the screens. 🙂 It was a refreshing season of relaxed routines and new adventures with a more flexible toddler rather than a twice-a-day napper from the year previous. I look back on this summer particularly fondly.
You tried several new things this year — some of them at your request and some with our encouragement. Golf lessons introduced you to the most frustrating game — but you also seemed a little bitten by the bug, to your dad’s delight. You’d much rather go along for a round with him than “do lessons”, but at seven, that felt about right. 🙂
You continue to be a strong reader, but your passion is math. We’re happy to see you’re being challenged with some weekly sessions outside of your regular classroom in both subjects. You’ve really reigned in your impulsive need to be the class clown, and consistently the feedback we receive now is about your leadership skills…something you’ve really beamed about and take to heart!
When the special occasion calls for it, you’ll don whatever outfit I’ve dreamed up for you — but for the most part, gone are the days I get to dress you. 🙂 98% of the time now, it’s all athleisure and I can’t say I blame you. Comfort is king!
You’re more sports than arts these days, but I love that we can still connect over photography -you had all kinds of ideas once we got rolling with your annual half birthday session, and you thought carefully about how to use your exposures when we took the polaroid camera to the hot air balloon show this summer.
You’re a patient and fun big brother. It has certainly helped that Greer’s speech has multiplied in the past months – it’s that much easier for you to communicate and really play together. The summer in particular with you home noticeably bonded you. As friends become a bigger center of your world, I see the opportunities for her to be left out mounting, but when you ARE home, you’re quick to give her hugs and ask her about her day…and she loves to do the same.
When I think back on specific memories of this eighth year, the skate park comes to mind. It’s not that often we can take off without our tiny sidekick, and this was an adventure just not suited for her, so it was extra special. The weather was perfect, and you were in awe of this new spot we’d never been to, that felt so “older kid”. Couple that with being smack dab in the middle of a love affair with scooter tricks and you were in heaven. You got to run your “stunts” and I got to shoot just you. A treasured memory for both of us, I think. 🙂
And just like that, you were a second grader. You were admittedly a little nervous at breakfast, but there was something calm and familiar about this year, your third at this school. You walked in knowing where to go, making note of not one but two grades smaller than you, and came home happy and excited for the year ahead.
You became quite the researcher this year, and coupled with an obsession about money (and how to make it!) it’s no surprise that going as Elon Musk (the wealthiest man according to your Google searches) was your choice of Halloween costume.
I can’t believe I actually have two sport coat pictures of you in a single year (ha!) but this one from our family photos this fall in one of my favorites and is so entirely you. In your good natured way, and always on a high after anything we do as a family, you remarked in the car after shooting these, “that was actually really fun, guys!” <3
Did I mention most of my pics are of you playing soccer? 🙂 You completed two more rec seasons in the spring and then the fall, keeping up with skills over the winter via indoor sessions. This coming fall is the first you’ll be eligible for the competitive club level and you can. not. wait.
You tried wrestling for the first time and it was all kinds of growth for you. You’d become a bit of a soccer star in your circle, and school has always come very easily. From an athletic standpoint, you could hang with the others, but learning rules, moves, and general information about an all-new sport was a great character builder, challenging you to listen, focus, accept some defeat, and come back to try again. There were a lot of frustrating moments with this sport, but a lot of very proud ones for us watching you.
As the holidays approached, it was the first year you knew all the secrets, but the magic still managed to prevail. You agreed to a Santa pic with Greer and I held you to it. Cleverly, you had given us your list weeks ahead of the visit, but threw a curveball by asking Santa in front of us for some last-minute Air Jordans, while casting a side smile our way. Stinker! This shot of you, all grown up as far as Santa, but still opting for the reindeer headband, is the perfect depiction of this “transitional” year for you. You wanted the magic (and didn’t want to help with the elves, you wanted to be surprised), but loved being trusted with the confidence of the secret and took the responsibility very seriously.
Hot items on your wish list this year were Pokemon cards, an electric scooter, and a safe. It was also the first year you used a little of your own money to shop for your sister.
As we planned for your birthday, you first wanted a Pokemon card-trading playdate, essentially. We decided to table that for an “anytime” thing and took full advantage of scheduling something indoor and energy-burning over what became an extra-long winter break, thanks to a blizzard. Is it any surprise…we rented some turf and did a soccer themed party with 15 other second graders. Yes, we came home and drank wine, but you guys had a blast.
As you venture into your ninth year, I hope you stay funny, sweet, perceptive, and all about time with your family. You love big, play hard, and laugh often, and we wish you more of all of it in the coming year.