Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Happy 9th Birthday B! - Part 1

In thinking about what to write, I gathered up photos from the last seven month's of B.  Seven months was a big dividing line this year as it marked the time we moved from our old house to our new and his old school to the new. The transition has been hard for him.  He had amazingly good friends at the old school thanks to forming great relationships in his awesome kindergarten class.  Being new is harder.  He is also being challenged in his classroom in ways he hasn't been since Kindergarten.  There is a lot of homework every day and that is hard after a couple years of very little homework. 
Some things are the same - he still loves games either board games or video games.  He is playing more and more with "the guys" --- aka Brent, Gavin, and Eric.  He is old enough and experienced enough now to play more complicated games and they have been amazingly patient about teaching him.  They all, not so secretly, love it. 
He still loves movies and saw all seven Star Wars movies within a few week's time.  He is a fan.  
I adore how their sibling unit is developing.  They do lots of things together and are pretty tight knit.  He is amazing big brother,, especially for E.  Having M at school with him and riding the bus together has helped strengthen their bond as well.  They are a funny happy group and I love to see them growing and loving each other. 
B is going through the First Reconciliation and First Communion process this year.  He is learning a lot and I've really enjoyed our talks.  I am being really honest with him about what I think about some of these issues and asking what he thinks.  Reconciliation was well-timed as the very next week we discovered a problem at school and had to talk through how to make it right.  He asked if he could go back to Reconciliation and of course I agreed. I am glad it was in his toolkit for how to deal with his problems.  The problem at school was a first for us and working through it took a couple months.  I hope that we all built some skills to both avoid and deal with problems going forward. 
He is building some new friendships at school (this is from a birthday party).  Also, he discovered the great fun that is nerf guns :)
Uncle Able & Aunt Kari took let him drive a tractor by himself for the first time as is a traditional 8yo activity in our family.  I am so glad they thought to do this and give him this experience. 
B played baseball in the Spring & Fall.  I think he was getting the swing of things near the end of the fall season, but as his team has fallen apart I am doubtful that he will continue to play.  I have mixed feelings about this as it seems such a part of boyhood and good family fun, but understand if he wants to try something else. 
With the new school game new traditions like the fun run.  His level of excitement about school has varied.  I still hear/read things he says about wishing we would have waited to move or missing his old school.  I'm sad for him and know it is hard, but know that the move was the right thing for our family and him in the long run.  The new school is good. I think largely he is still in the adapting phase and so hope he finds his spot there.  When I went to the class Christmas party he seemed very at ease and everyone was friendly with him so I'm hoping he'll see that soon too. 
B LOVED the new hammock.  He camped out in it one night and spent lots of time there relaxing and reading. I am so very happy that we bought it and that it helps him enjoy being outside.  He actually spends a lot more time outside at the new house, mostly with the neighbors next door.  They play all sorts of things. I think he and I both loved it when they were going on bike rides frequently.  Hopefully that will resume in the spring.  
This photo is from the fourth of July when we were visiting Washington DC.  I love his smile and how happy he is here.  It was right after the move and good to see him being silly.  I think 8 was a mixed back of times when he was so happy and doing lots of awesome new things and times when he was facing substantial challenges and fearing for his success. Probably like most years.  I love that he is an amazing helper, that he still hugs and snuggles me, and the conversations we can have now that we couldn't even a year ago.  I'll post more photos soon from the earlier portion of the year, but wanted to take a moment to capture the second half and share a few memories of this awesome boy of ours as he begins the next year of his journey. I hope it is full of joy!

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