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My Sweet Kye,
Woah. I cannot believe YOU ARE NINE.
Nine is the first age I have truly significant memories from my own childhood and it’s so mind-blowing to me that my child is now that age. When I was nine my world was rocked by my parents divorcing. I remember how I felt. I remember processing those emotions and having to work through a new family dynamic. It forever shaped my future and left a long lasting mark on my memories of my childhood.
Our family has had tough moments. Obstacles we’ve faced and had to overcome. Daddy and I do our best to keep things normal for you guys during those tougher times. We deal with the adult issues, you deal with being kids and having fun 😉 I am so thankful that you are able to have the freedom to PLAY and laugh and have that comfort in knowing that your family life is secure and your parents are strong in their marriage.
The year of 8 was such a fun one. You are really changing and growing up before our eyes. Every time someone sees you who hasn’t seen you in awhile the first thing they say to us is “MAN Kye is growing UP!” And it’s true.
You’ve gotten taller, your face is getting longer and thinner (looking like Daddy!), you rock that 6 pack that you’re so proud of, and you are just looking older. More grown. For sure closer to a teenager than a child! Welcome to the pre-teen years!
You are changing in other ways too aside from the physical. You are having more emotional moments. I used to always know what to say to you but now sometimes what I say isn’t the right thing or in the right way or at the right time. I know this is all part of growing up and I try to be patient with you in those moments and hope you can keep being patient with me too as I learn you new boundaries and how to best support you through this life changes.
While you are growing up, you continue to get sillier at the same time. It’s this delicate mixture of maturity while still clinging to the childish side of life. You are silly and goofy and like telling stories, jokes, and even making up songs. Sometimes you are more reserved and then other times you are wanting us all to gather in the living room to watch a “show” you’ve put together!
I love that you have such a great balance. I love that you have depth and are so incredibly well rounded. You can play with kids of any age and get along great. You never complain about having to “play down” to your sisters’ levels of play and enjoy the role of being their big brother. You get them to try new things and you are so great at being a positive role model in their lives.
I am especially proud when I see you around your peers. You don’t have a ton of friends at school this year and you tell me it’s because the boys “try to be cool” and you just aren’t about that. I love that you are secure in who you are (and, most importantly, whose you are). You stand up for what is right and avoid hanging around kids who may be poor influences.
This year has been a lot of changes in our family. Being the oldest, and being so wise, you understand a lot of these things (plus you admit you LOVE to listen in when Daddy and I are talking!). I’m so thankful that Daddy and I both are able to communicate things to you in a way that points to the Lord and that you aren’t scared about Daddy’s health or worry about things you shouldn’t have to be worried about. I can’t imagine parenting without having God as my guide!
This year was also a HUGE year for our family as we walked the path of adoption! I truly believe your life will be positively impacted through this journey we experienced together as a family. You prayed so hard for this sweet, precious boy to join our family and you LOVE having a baby brother.
It has been such a gift to see you in the big brother roll three times over now. You have always been INCREDIBLE when we add a new baby to our home. You adore the babies and adjust so well to our lives having to revolve around them for awhile.
You ADORE Spear but you are also so eager for him to get a little older so you can actually play with him and interact with him. You are envious of your sisters. They play together all the time and you often feel left out.
I do think that long term your age difference with Spear will be awesome. I think he’ll look up to you and want to be just like you and that you will LOVE having a little shadow everywhere you go and will enjoy being able to teach him and encourage him in all aspects of life!
But right now you feel left out with the girls and often feel lonely and “stuck” playing solo. Even though you are more introverted and enjoy that alone time, you also struggle feeling left out when the girls gang up!
I have loved seeing you and Daddy build on your relationship so much this year. You are different in many ways and sometimes that can be a struggle when bonding but you guys are figuring out the things you enjoy together (video games! grubbing out!) and how to share your hearts with each other. You are SO blessed with a Daddy who ADORES you and who is such a strong male role model in your life. I know you’ll be best buddies as you get older 🙂
Parenting you has always been pretty easy for me because we are so much alike in so many ways. Even as you get older, and the similarities with Daddy become more and more obvious, we still share a special bond. We think very similarly and have similar world views and I love that we can bounce things off each other and just “get” each other.
Not that I look to you to fulfill me in anyway (I’m your mama, I’m here FOR YOU). It is so nice to feel so understood and I feel like our relationship is a blessing for you too. I remember often feel lonely and misunderstood and I’m thankful you won’t ever feel that way because you have me and I “get” the way you think 🙂
I am so proud of you! This year you really did so many new things and did so great with them all. You have been stepping up a LOT in church and participating in worship services. I am just waiting for that conversation to happen where you are ready to be baptized. I feel like it could be any day now and goodness that will be SUCH an awesome day!
You LOVED Georgia Bible Camp last summer and had a blast staying the night for the full week. You also played football this year for the first time and had a great experience with that as well. I’m SO excited to see what your passion will be. You are so creative and have such drive and I know Daddy and I both just want you to find what you LOVE and want to help you in every way we can for you to pursue that passion!
I am very excited for the year ahead. To see Spear grow up and watch you interact with him. I am excited for all of our Disney trips (my favorite thing is holding your hand walking through the parks!), the beach, and maybe even a special surprise thrown in 😉
I find myself clinging and hanging on as you get older. These days are so limited before you are an adult! We’re HALFWAY THERE. I want to make sure to savor these days with you at home and make sure we’re making long lasting memories that you’ll always cherish and forming bonds that will keep us all close even when you leave the nest.
I also hope that I’m doing a good job raising you to be the man I pray you’ll be. A man of integrity who loves Jesus and lives your life for Him! I know you will be SUCH a light in this world…and you already are!
You make our whole family so proud. When people say “you’re Kye’s mom!” I get so proud and smile so big. You are such an awesome kid. You are your own person and I LOVE that. I pray that you continue to be proud of who you ARE. Because who you are is someone SPECIAL!
In this coming year I hope you continue to cling to childhood. Continue to explore and laugh and just ENJOY this phase of life. I know you’re the first born and it’s tempting to grow up quick…but I promise to do my best as your mama to prevent that from happening! I want you to have FUN and enjoy being a KID!
I know I say it all the time but I’m truly so blessed to be your mom. I never want you to ever doubt that. I love you unconditionally and always. I will always support you and have your back. If you struggle, I will be there to pick you up and help guide you back to the path of righteousness.
You made me a mama. And that is my best gift in this life! I am so thankful for you, my son, my first, my Kye!
Happy 9th Birthday! I love you,
Mommy (PS yes you still call me Mommy and Mama and I LOVE it)
Lots more pictures of Kye and Mommy (even if 90 percent of them are selfies haha!):
Past Birthday Letters: