Sunday, February 28, 2010


 Every year on my kid's birthdays I write them a letter.  When they turn 18 I plan on giving them their yearly letters.

                                                 Andrew's Birthday letter #11

Last week while sitting next to your friend Russ at your school's church service you leaned over and said to me,“Why do we have to sit with YOU! Why can’t we sit with Russ’s parents?” Then you proceeded to roll your eyes and cross your arms over your chest the same way I used to you when I was about your age. I am officially uncool. I arrogantly thought this day would never come. I believed you would always think I was cool. I am younger than the other parents. I don’t drive a minivan. I don’t listen to cheesy music like Celine Dion or country, and I sometimes allow you to watch inappropriate movies.

I guess it doesn’t matter. I am a mom, a figure of authority, therefore by default I am lame. I realize that I need to get used to your snubs. I need to grow thick skin and acknowledge that you are changing. Soon you will no longer be my little boy-child. Within a year or two, your voice will change, you will get taller and start sprouting arm pit hair. I can already see the changes. You are more independent and secure in your skin. I am thankful that you still let me in. At 11, you're still confiding in me. I hope that continues. I hope that at 16 you still trust me enough to tell me what is really going on in your life. I didn’t do that with my parents. By 14 I shut them out completely.

5th grade has been a good year for you. You joined the swim team and the basketball team, you have finally learned to keep a clean desk, and you have started spending a lot more time with your school friends. On the weekends you are almost always with Russ or Jordan. Also you have taken up the annoying habit of talking on the phone with your friends.

You have developed the greatest dead-pan sarcasm of any 11-year-old I had the pleasure of meeting. Nearly everything you say is dripping with cruel hilarity. This year it has gotten you into a bit of trouble. Your teacher doesn’t find you nearly as hysterical as your classmates do. Last week when a preschool student was forced to sit in an unoccupied desk in your classroom (your teacher is the principal of the school) for biting another student, you shouted to him “run for your life little man!” He got up from the desk and fled for the door. Your sarcasm was over his head. Mr. Walker was not pleased with you. I have had to have countless conversations with him over your humor. He is not a fan of what he refers to as your “constant need to distract the other students.” . I wish you would tone it down a bit.

It is insane that you only have 7 more years before college. It scares me to think that one day, not too far away, you will have your own life apart from us. I don’t even want to consider that.

This year you told me you saw the girl you were going to marry, a blonde brown-eyed girl from the neighborhood. You saw her once at the grocery store and again at the Awana youth group our neighbor brings you to. “Why don’t we have any pretty girls at my school?’ you wanted to know. I find this new interest in girls a little troubling. I am certain that it will get worse with age. Have I mentioned that I am so not prepared for you to grow up?

Happy Birthday Andrew.  I love you more than you could ever imagine.  

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