The website I have always used to create the kiddo's year in review slide shows is no longer. Insert very emotional mama here. I've spent way too much time investigating other options, and finally finished Evan's montage last night, although I now have to wait for the dvd to arrive to share it. Creating the montage always brings such intense memories of the year and everything not captured in the images. And so, as always, my letter to Evan...
Oh, Little Man,
This has been quite the year. Although you will always be my baby, there is no baby left in you. You have entered the world of little boy at warp speed and with great gusto. Some things remain so familiar. You are still always on the move. I have pried you off of more perches, told you to get down off of more things, and said, "walking feet" more often than I ever imagined. You are my fearless adventurer, and I am so grateful my more grounded eyes get to see the world through yours.
You are also still always building something. Legos have become your very favorite toy, and I love that you no longer look at the directions. You just build--usually some kind of weaponry. I'm still adjusting to that one, but I know it is just a part of you.
Even though you are a weapons expert (and I mean that--we have checked out the entire military section of the library this year), you have the biggest heart. You give the best hugs, and you are so aware when other people are sad. You love to help me, especially in the kitchen, and sometimes I can really see you being a chef. You love making people happy, but you have enough of an edge to make it in that world.
You insist you are going to be a super hero some days, though. You love the Red Ranger and Captain America, and I love that you are ready to save the world. Other days, you insist you are going to build medical devices like Daddy. Buddy, he is one hell of a role model. Watch him. Learn all you can. I see so much of him in you, and I am so grateful for the relationship you have with him.
This has also been the year when you searched for your thing. We tried soccer--a dismal failure. Baseball--not your thing. Basketball--great except for games. You have now found ninjitsu, and you are in love. Little ninja, I love that you have this talent. I love that you have an outlet for some of that energy. More importantly, you are learning lessons that will serve you well. Ninjitsu is the way of the heart and sword. In Japanese, that combination stands for endurance and determination. That is you. You can have laser focus, which will serve you well. I don't know where your path with lead, but I know you will go boldly, and I can't wait to watch who you will become.
More than anything, though, right now I see your Granddaddy in you. You were named for him, and although we couldn't have known it at the time, there is no more appropriate name. As I reread the stories he has passed down to us, I see the ornery little boy you are now. The one who would rather be outside exploring than doing his chores. I see the stubborn streak I know so well. You have the same steel in your eye that he gets when the conversation is over. Lord help me. I see his razor sharp wit and the ability to love fiercely. You have his moral compass, his love of adventure, and his strength. I see it already. Baby boy, it's everything I wish for you.
Some days, as you are entering this new stage, these traits I love drive me to distraction. The battle of wills have been epic. But know, at your very core, that I love you with every fiber of my being. I will be behind you whatever path you walk, and you have two great men walking before you. Study them. Learn from them. Then walk your own path, little man. You are off to take on the world...
All my love forever and always,