Sunday, February 28, 2016

Happy 7th Birthday, Cade

Dear Cade,

I always love going back and looking for pictures to put in these posts. Obviously, we didn't do you justice back then, but blurry photos are better than no photos, right? I'm gonna take it for granted that you'll forgive me for my lack of skill back in the day. (Though you may never forgive me for having documented your brother's life so much more thoroughly than yours, and I can't really blame you.)

You have always brought such joy to our lives with your laugh, your humor, and your energy. Today, I took you and your sister to the school play (I was a bit surprised that you were the bigger advocate for this outing over your sister, because plays are not always your thing.), and you watched the whole thing with your mouth wide open, never moving from the edge of your chair. When I took you out for hot chocolate afterwards, though, you absolutely could not sit down until the moment your hot chocolate arrived. You're all boy!

Yesterday, I brought cupcakes to your class to celebrate your birthday, and it was probably the best classroom birthday I've ever witnessed. Your teacher, Mr. Adams, asked the kids in your class to raise their hands and share one reason why they were glad that you were in their class. They began with the words "I'm glad you were born seven years ago because..." and nearly every hand shot up to share, because well, they're in first grade, and because you're a pretty cool kid, Cade.

Here were a few of the lines:
   Cade, I'm glad you were born seven years ago because you are encouraging. (Good word!)
   Cade, I'm glad you were born seven years ago because you are funny (to which Mr. Adams added, "yes, I agree, and I think he gets funnier every day.).
   Cade, I'm glad you were born seven years ago because you are good at everything and you're nice.
   Cade, I'm glad you were born seven years ago because you are honest and helpful. When you got hurt, you told the truth, so that I wouldn't get in trouble.
   Cade, I'm glad you were born seven years ago because you are good at sports and at school.

I wish I'd been able to record the whole thing, because it was the sweetest thing. For your part, you sat in your chair and (mostly) made eye contact with the person talking. You got to call on kids to speak, and you liked that power.

Today, you told me that your biggest concern about moving back to the States is making friends, and Kennedy and I agreed that is also one of our biggest concerns for ourselves. While I don't see you as the kid who has one best friend, Cade, I do know that you have a lot of kids who love to hang out with you! Then, when we talked about how we could help ourselves make friends, it became clear why. Of the three of us, you definitely had the most advice!

At this point, you are generally excited about the upcoming changes in our lives. I think a lot of it is just your laid-back personality; there isn't a whole lot that really bothers you. You are also capable of seeing what there is to be excited about, in terms of the move, because you haven't experienced quite as much loss in your life as your sister, nor are you worried about details. You're thinking about the adventure that is to come!

I am so proud of you, Cade-man--both the kid you are and the man you're becoming. I'm so excited to see what the future holds for you in the upcoming months, as we all endure change. I love you, little man!


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