Spencer turns 12 next Saturday. Wow! Hard to believe that I've had this parenting gig for 12 years already!
I know I'm a little early in starting his birthday celebrations, but with 2 Bovy boys celebrating birthdays next week, I thought I should get a head start.
This has been quite the year for Spencer. When I sat down to think about what I wanted to share about the last 12 months with him, the first thing that popped into my head is how much he's changed. He's gone through a huge physical growth spurt. He's probably put on 5" in the last year, and he delights in the fact that he's now taller than his "little mommy" (his words, not mine). He's also put on some weight, but not proportional to the height. He's in much better shape now than he was this time last year.
I credit a few things for his physical transformation. The first is just timing. He's an early bloomer just like I was. He's going through puberty and the extra hormones have helped him to build muscles - and a mustache.
In addition to a flood of testosterone spilling into his body, he's also done a whole season's worth of personal training. It's pretty amazing how much some education on HOW to workout can help.
Most of all, however, this physical change was spurred on by an underlying mental change. Spencer is maturing. He's growing up and starting to figure out what he wants. He happened to "get to" go through a tough learning experience (that I will forever be thankful for) during last year's football season. I know I've talked about it many times before, but the experience he had has forever (I hope) shaped him in such positive ways that I really can't help but beam with pride. (Seriously... I beam!) He went into the Paladins situation thinking more of himself than he should. He faced some hard realities and instead of giving up or throwing in the towel, he worked his a$$ off to try to get better. And it worked. And it was noticed. And he earned the respect of the coaches, his teammates, and almost all the parents on the hill. Bob and I didn't really need to say a word. Unlike many parents, we have let Spencer's actions speak for themselves.
To say I'm proud of how our oldest handled himself is a ginormous understatement. He has taught me many lessons about handling disappointment with grace. About committing to hard things. About having the right goals and not letting the noise get in the way. To this day he will tell you that he's playing football because he loves it. He likes to play in the games, but that's not his number one goal. His goal is to be better this year than he was last year. Come on... how can you not be impressed with that kind of attitude in a tweener???
Despite all the sports talk I force you to read week after week in these messages, we really aren't ALL about sports. We do also pay attention to school too! And Spencer's achievements in school are also pretty darn spectacular. I don't want to be a big bragger, but he's worth bragging on for a bit. Spence finished his time in Elementary school last spring and moved up to the middle school this year. Based on his performance and test scores and his awesome mom (might have added one of those myself) he was placed into all advanced placement classes with one exception. He didn't get into AP science, because he's in gifted science. He's carrying a heavy load and early grades and signs lead me to believe he's going to finish this year with the same kind of success he's had in years past. He's a bright kid. Did I mention that I beam??
Spencer also decided that he wanted to be in the band and chose the tuba to play. Bob's pretty excited about that! If you ask Spence what he likes best about playing the tuba, he'll tell you that it's the fact that he doesn't have to carry his instrument back and forth every day. He's very practical!
I can't wait to see what comes next for Spencer. He's a joy to parent and we really couldn't be luckier to have him as our oldest. He's done a great job easing us into all the trials and tribulations of being a parent. And I can't even imagine a better role model for his little brothers. Spencer regularly gets on the floor to play with them or hoists one of them up and over a shoulder to carry around. He's an excellent wrestling partner and a first class protector. He also shows a pretty amazing level of patience when dealing with the little boys. He's methods are pretty unusual, but they are also highly effective. I think it's pretty safe to say that his little brothers look up to him in just about every way possible.
I wish Spencer the happiest of birthdays. I can't wait to see what awesome things he accomplishes this year. I can't wait to witness the growth and delight in the young man that he's becoming. I'm so very blessed to be him mom!
PS - This weekend we have 2 lacrosse games, a football game and a flag football game, AND a visit from Grandpa Bob and Grandma Phyllis who are coming to watch the boys play and celebrate some birthdays - including theirs! We are looking forward to a fun, chaotic, exhausting weekend.