Friday, August 21, 2015

Double Digits

Ten whole years. A decade. That's how long you've been giving us memories, Eli.
It feels like a whole lifetime ago, the years before you were born... They have been filled with fun and baseball and drums and wild hair and books and soccer and music and laughter and all sports and history and smiles. Mostly smiles. That is what everyone knows about you: you always have the biggest smile on your face!

This last year, your tenth year, has been another great one: you recently told me it was your best one yet! So I thought maybe we'd make a Top Ten List of the best parts of the last year.

1. Soccer: You played two more seasons, sharpening your skills and becoming a better aggressor on the field. 
2. History: You read anything about the Civil War you can get your hands on and you love listening to podcasts about all areas of history. At the end of the school year last year, you won a poster contest for your poster about Benjamin Franklin, which sent your poster to the state level. You went back to the Atlanta History Center for a camp this summer, and you've told me a few times that you may want to be a historian one day. 

3. Ruby: You are a great big brother to her, always thinking about her, playing with her, and supporting her with your Team Ruby shirt at school. 

4. Winshape: You and Drew went back to Winshape camp this summer and you enjoyed five days and nights away from home; can't believe how grown up you are.

5. Golf: As expected, once the Masters rolled around, your interest in golf was rekindled and you watched as much as we'd allow. You even created a golf course in our  front and back yard. You, Grandpa Jim, and some of your friends played it for over a week.

6. Running: You ran your first official 5K this year: you, Ruby and I completed the Gigi's 5K on World Down Syndrome Day. You were steady on the course and you ran the entire thing, even through some really tough hills! 
7. Maturity: So many ways you have shown your maturity this year, Eli. You bring home assignments from school and complete them all on your own with minimal help from us (your safety unit, your Ben Franklin poster, etc.). Your interest in your sister, Ruby, and her cause is showing in your interaction with others. You stood up in front of your entire class and talked about her and Down syndrome and then asked them all to participate in WDSD this year. Amazing. 
8. Swim: You continue to love the summer swim season. Your favorite event is the one all other kids dread, and you smile through every practice and swim meet. 
9. Boundaries: You've earned some freedom with your responsibility in the areas of where you can go without us and how long you can stay. One freedom you seem to love is the ability to ride your (bigger) bike all around the neighborhood, checking in via walkie talkie every once in a while. 

10. Innocence: Sorry, but even as grown up as you seem at times, you are still amazingly innocent when it comes to so many things. (In a very good way!) I love that you still play with legos, and that I find you in your room setting up army men for hours. It warms my heart when you ask for family movie night or a date with mom or dad. From your movie selections to the way you play with your sisters and friends, you are still an amazing kid, and I'm so grateful for that.

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