Thursday, September 20, 2012

Picture of the Week - 9/20/2012

10 years!

I know I'm a little early in my celebration of Spencer's 10 birthday, but since we happen to have another birthday for a certain little blonde-headed cutie pie next week, I didn't think you would mind the early birthday shout-out to my oldest.

I find it super hard to believe that it's been 10 years since Spencer turned Bob and me into Dad and Mom.  In some ways it seems like it's been merely moments.  In other ways it seems like Spencer's been around forever.  He's like an old sweatshirt - in the best possible ways!  

He fits! 

He knows his place in the family and he excels as a first-born big brother.  He turned our world upside down and then 16 months later we did the same to his. But he never missed a beat and has embraced every life change since.  (And we have asked him to accept more than his fair share!)  I've talked before about how seriously Spencer takes the job of protector and playmate for his brothers.  I really couldn't ask for a better role model.  

He's easy! 

There is no thrashing about rules and expectations.  There's very little limit pushing.  Long gone are the days of temper tantrums.  He typically goes about his days without complaint and for the most part stays out of trouble.  Spencer will go days without asking for anything special.  He wears what I pull for him every day.  He eats what we serve him.  He comes when we call him.  He does what his coaches, teachers and parents ask without complaint.  He is just easy.  

He's comfortable! 

I can't really describe the feeling of peace that having Spencer in the family provides.  It may be cheesy, but I firmly believe that he was exactly the right fit for our family at the right time.  He's a blessing!  He has such a mature look on life that I am often 100% comfortable with whatever he's involved with.  I don't worry about him at school.  He's smart enough to be lazy and he knows it.  I don't worry about him on a sports field.  He's big and strong enough that he can more than handle himself against his peers.  And the fact that he seems to feel no pain and have no fear do not hurt!  I don't worry about him with his brothers.  He's more patient and kind and gentle than they deserve!  I just don't worry much about Spencer at all.  That does not by any means mean that I don't have dreams of what he will become and standard which I hold him up against.  He probably has no idea how much I think he can accomplish - and that's OK, because I'm not worried.  He's likely going to surpass my expectations just like he's been doing for the last 10 years.

He's fun!

Spencer makes me laugh.  His sense of humor is dark and sarcastic.  It's probably a bit too mature and over the heads of most of his classmates, but I bet the teachers are amused.  (I know his teacher last year specifically told us that she would make comments in the class that she knew only Spencer would understand.)  His sarcasm is probably going to get him in trouble someday.  He'll need to temper things before he gets into the world of email and text communications.  

He's smart!

There is no denying that Spencer is bright.  (See sarcastic humor above.)  I think the fact that he can problem solve with the best of his peers will serve him well.  I think the fact that he doesn't need to work to pick up new concepts will eventually bite him in the butt.  His propensity to engage in active debate about illogical concepts and requests already does… Now we know where “BECAUSE I SAID SO” comes from.  I would never trade his intelligence, but I do wish he had a better work ethic!  

He's warm!

There is a tough exterior to Spencer that only a very few people ever see through.  I think it's because he can be aloof.  His personality isn't open and welcoming.  (I often recognize myself in him.)  But if you are one of the lucky few he lets into his world, his big heart is obvious.  He may have a funny way of showing his feelings sometimes, but if you know where to look (a "tree hog frug" or a shoulder bump or a smart-a$$ comment) you will know how very much you mean to him. 

He's special!

There's really only one chance at a first beginning.  There's only one first born.  There's just one moment that a parent is born.  Spencer is our one.  It doesn't mean we love him any more than the others.  It just means he holds, and will always hold, a special place in the family.  He's a trailblazer.  He handles the spoken and unspoken pressures of being the first with ease. He understands that his actions are always watched (and imitated) by his younger brothers.  He's our guinea pig.  We've made mistakes with him and learned lessons and practiced for those who come later.  

I know that the time will come, like it is coming for my favorite 22 year old OSU sweatshirt, for me to let go of Spencer.  I can't. even. imagine.  For now, I will not worry about that day 8+ years from now.  For now, I will just enjoy!  For now, I will just try to soak in every moment - good and notsomuch.  For now, I will just love my 10 year old!

My wish for Spencer this year is that he continues to forge his very own path.  I want him to build on his interests and continue to explore the big big world around him.  I want him to have fun and find joy in the every day.  I want him to be happy.  I want him to know how very much he is loved.  

Happy birthday to my big guy! 
Happy birthday to my sweet, strong boy! 
Happy 10th Birthday Spencer! 

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