I feel terrible about waiting more than a month to write your tenth birthday letter. What a lame mom I am! Better late than never, right?
Another year has come and gone. You are TEN!! You are growing up so fast, too fast! You are in that sweet in- between stage between little boyhood and manhood. You’ve outgrown playing with your toys, but still like to imagine and pretend you are a baseball player in our back yard. I’m wondering how much longer we have of you like this. You have sized out of little boy shoes. Your feet are bigger than mine already! When we go to the men’s department, you still aren’t quite ready for that. You are a big kid, slowly maturing into a grown up guy. You are still not so grown up that you won’t hold my hand or put your arm around me in church. I keep wondering how much longer that will last before you decide you are much too cool for such things.
You are a thoughtful encourager. You always tell me and others about the good you see in them. You are so sweet natured. Your dad and I were talking the other day about the fact that you don’t have a mean bone in your body. If something is said that is mean natured or harsh, you don’t appreciate it. You won’t participate in picking on or belittling type behavior. It hurts your sensitive heart. If you tell me that you don’t like someone or that you have a problem with their behavior, I know that he or she must be really rotten. You usually believe the best about people. If something unfortunate happens to someone, you feel so terribly sorry for them. Recently, I was laughing about the guy on wheel of fortune who kept ruining his chances with awful answers (mythological hero Achilles.) I was laughing at how unbelievable it was. You said, “Mom! It isn’t funny! It isn’t funny at all! That poor guy! I’m so sad for him! He must feel so embarrassed!” It made you angry that I was snickering about that poor guy’s misfortune. You have a tender heart for others. You are kind.
You are ALL about baseball, almost to the point of being annoying about it. You want to keep up with every happening with the Rangers. You want to check the gamecast each morning, talk about the game every day, discuss details of the games that I don’t really understand. You love it! This year, you got to go to Spring Training in Arizona with your dad. Your dad and I were both shocked at your tenacity. You were able to push your way through the crowds and get the autographs of several prominent players, Yu Darvish, Clayton Kershaw, Ron Washington, just to name a few. It made us both see how if you want something badly, you have the desire and persistence to go for it!
You have made leaps and bounds this year in the hard work department. There are several tasks that I had to remind you about (daily) last year. This year, you have needed few reminders. You rarely complain when asked to do a job and continually impress me with the fact that you work hard and cheerfully. You are becoming a diligent worker. I am proud of your work ethic and the fact that when I ask you to do something, I receive a “Yes Ma’am” with no back talk or whining. You still have a habit of forgetting what you are doing right in the middle of a job or not staying on task. Still working on that. I wonder sometimes why you tend to get so distracted right in the middle of an activity.
You are thankful and grateful. You always make me smile when you acknowledge things I do for you or our family with words or a note. You are very affirming to me and others. Your sweet comments and thankful heart bless me and are a sort of mini-reward to me. Your words remind me that even though I feel like I’m doing a bad job sometimes, I must be doing something right because you said so.
This year, you accepted a challenge from your dad. You read in Tim Tebow’s biography that he abstained from soda for a year and received $100 from his parents as a reward. Your dad challenged you to do the same. You’ve been doing great practicing discipline and denying yourself to accomplish a goal. Proud of you!
You continue to grow in spiritual depth and understanding. You are a gifted communicator and have no problem speaking in front of a crowd. You are especially good at telling funny stories. This year, you wrote your LTC speech entirely on your own, with no help from us. Your dad was adamant that you do the job yourself, that your own nine year old personality and thoughts went into the speech. You wrote a beautiful talk and made us all proud of your wit and courage when you gave the speech at church. You also took the Timothy class this year. I learned that you had a reputation of being a bit of a class clown in that class. :/ You are a silly one.
You love words. You love to write poems. Your puns can hardly be beat. You make us all laugh. You actually like to talk a LOT. You can be a chatterbox at times. Your wife needs to be a very good listener or one who has several sets of earplugs.
You are friendly. You get along with people. I noticed this year how much of a leader you are to others. There were several tag-alongs on your baseball team this year. When you arrived at a practice or game, I could see you working the crowd. “Hey man! What’s up?” etc. and asking people what was going on with them and their lives. I can see that you have leadership potential. I pray that you use that gift to lead others in the right direction.
I am proud that you are confident in who you are and whose you are. You don’t seem to care if others do things, have different interests or think differently from you. You care about doing what is right. So thankful that God is answering our prayers in this way.
You have reached out this year to our elderly neighbor, Mr. Eubanks, after his wife died. You are quick to go over and chat with him on a regular basis. You love to hear his stories about his time in the Navy or time spent in China. Yesterday, you ran over to show him a slow motion video we made of you playing basketball. Mr. Eubanks loves you. You like to visit with him. You think he is interesting. You are a friend to elderly. You are also a friend to several little buddies at church who like to tag along behind you. You can get along with people from every age group. People like being around you because you are fun and funny! I love that you are such a people person! I love when people ask you how you are doing. You usually respond with an enthusiastic word like “Terrific!” or “Absolutely great!” or something along those lines. I had a parent at Milla’s preschool remark to me a few weeks ago about how she loves to talk to you when you drop Milla off because you always ask how others are doing and respond to their “How are you?” questions with an enthusiastic response and a smile.
You get along with your big sister. You guys are still such good friends. You miss each other when one or the other of you isn’t around. You are kind to your big sis. She loves you. You are kind to your younger sisters, even when one of them treats you badly.
You are smart and love to read. This year, you have been diligent about daily Bible reading on your own, with no prompting from me. I’m proud that you have already mastered that discipline. Hoping this will be a lifelong habit for you. Praying that God fills your heart with wisdom.
This year, you started doing your own laundry. Wow. It is funny how the amount of your laundry in the laundry pile decreased dramatically once it became your responsibility. Funny how that happened. :/
You love for me to talk to you or take you to breakfast. You also love for me to chat with you at night, right before bed. I haven’t been as good about that as I would like to be. Tucking in multiple children makes it hard. Whenever I do make the time, though, I am always glad I did. I always have fun talking to you.
My prayer for you is that you will continue to grow in wisdom. I know that God has good plans for how He will use your kind and compassionate heart, your care for the souls of others and your gift of communicating for something wonderful. I can’t wait to see what He has for you. Happy birthday, sweet Major Gray (even though I am a little late)! I love you so much and am so glad that God chose me to be your mom!