I look around while trying to catch my breath at the beautiful children you are becoming. You are both growing into such enchanting human beings. I feel so compelled to write down every single thing you are up to, but I find myself caught up in being a part of and observing your lives that I barely have the capacity to pick up a camera to capture all the fun. I soak up the moments as they come, and relish in the memory... the way you guys giggle together when you say silly things over and over and over again (butt jokes are a current favorite). The way you guys can love in one minute, and annoy each other endlessly the next is hilarious; and I say that with the kindest heart, simply because I've been there.
Gavin: You just finished up the Pre-K/Kindergarten curriculum this past year. We had a blast this year with your friends, meeting with them each week to do a unit study. We went on a lot of field trips! Police Station, Fire Station, Weather Observatory, Vet's Office, Marineland, a Farm, Okeefenokee, the Beach, a Train Ride! We had such fun. You learned so much this year! It was the first year we really used multimedia to help teach you various topics. You really took to learning all about anatomy and the different body systems. Currently, you are still fascinated with blood and bones. You are learning to read and can sound out a lot of different words. Short math is becoming a topic of interest to you as well, but didn't really strike a cord with you until the end of this year. You can draw! Finally, you are drawing stick people! I received an adorable 'card' on Mother's Day this year from you. You drew a head with big eyes and ears, and a big grin. It was completely unprompted, and the absolute sweetest thing. I framed it, and I'm keeping it forever. You also gave me another card, and on it was drawn three flowers with distinct swirling for the petals and individual leaves down the stems. So detailed! I'm framing that one as well. I love how you tell the most elaborate stories! Your imagination astounds me! Lately you have been drawing what appears to be story maps on paper. Armed with a box of crayons, you set to work grabbing a color and telling a story. Say, the person has on a red sweater; you'll grab a red crayon, and start drawing a line - in any direction - and tell about this person and what they might be doing. Then, grabbing another color, say blue, you'll then continue the line with the blue crayon, perhaps talking about a blue bench they are going to sit on. The paper gets filled with an entire rainbow of a long, swirling, tangled line as the story morphs and takes shape. It really is completely beautiful when you are finished. I'm amazed at how much you are taking in, but also how much more you want to keep devouring!
You tell jokes! And they are funny! "What type of bagel can fly? A plane bagel" Ha! You always want to be involved in every single conversation happening around you, whether you know anything about the topic or not. You remind me so much of myself in needing to feel important and intelligent. Most adults aren't sure how to take such a verbose little dude, but you quickly put most of them at ease with a simple cock of your head, furrow of your brow, and fighting stance as you fight off the decepticons. Yep, you are still into everything Transformers and Rescue Bots. Though, now it's merged into all things Super Heroes, too, so it's gotten pretty adventurous. You enjoy the good guy/bad guy dynamic in your pretend play with friends. You love dirt. You got a swing set for Christmas in 2013 and ever since, I send you outside at least once a day to play, and there you are, digging in the dirt pit, with your vehicles, shovels and other implements. We passed a construction site on the way through downtown one day off of the interstate. They were building a new entrance ramp. You immediately took notice of the machines, but also of the workers, and for the first time, what they were actually building. "Mom, it's a ramp!" Oh yeah, Buddy? How come? "They are building a ramp for cars to go on. I build those in the dirt pit in the back yard with my machines for my cars!" Your discovery was spot on, and you were happy to have observed such a thing.
You run so fast! You also learned to ride your bike without training wheels this year! That was a cool moment. One moment, I'm holding onto your seat, telling you to keep your head up, keep looking forward, and just like that, you were out of my hands, peddling, and with supreme confidence, ready to ride a two wheeled bike. You haven't looked back and now even peddle standing up. You learned to swing one fine afternoon, too! It took about a good half an hour for me to give you instructions and examples and more instructions, but you finally got it! Learning how to pull yourself back, to allow the weight of yourself to help propel the swing... it clicked. I love watching your light bulb moments! It's one of the pleasures of my life.
We tried karate, and after exactly one year, and an orange belt to show for it, you decided it wasn't for you. I was proud that you stuck with it, even when you really didn't want to. I don't think the rigid atmosphere was a good fit. And that's okay. You made it work for a year, and you looked so super proud to have gotten your orange belt the day you tested. With the change of heart over karate came a new opportunity - Baseball! You really loved t-ball this year. We landed on a great time at Fort Caroline Athletic Association. You played for Coach Keith and the Braves this year. You were totally that kid playing in the dirt on the field. The first couple of games were pure comedy. You'd hit the ball, then chase the ball. You wanted to field every single ball and got visibly upset when you couldn't. But with practice, you have learned a bit of patience and hard work. You hit off the tee and without it. You learned to throw the ball, and how to block it up. You got hit in the shoulder by a line drive, and while it hurt, and I could tell it did, you sucked it up and moved right along with the game with bravery that I had not expected. And it'd surprise you to know that it was your Dad's tookus that left the bench to hit the field to make sure you were alright. I had to tug him back and remind him of how big you were and that it was the Coach's job. You made me proud on that one, kiddo. It sure was fun being there and watching you play. I can't wait for next season! You seem pretty excited, too, and are always wanting one of us to come outside and play ball with you.
... to be continued.