Sigh. All is right with the world. I will recover from the shock of having an 8 year old soon enough.
The last 8 years with you have been full of joy. It is so much fun to watch you learn things. You read, all. the. time. If ever I wonder where you could have wandered off to I'm certain to find you, sprawled out somewhere with your nose bent to a page. You call out to me the more interesting bits of the National Geographic magazine as you are reading. It makes me happy to see you much you enjoy learning about things. You aren't in the least bit self conscious when you talk about these discoveries. You are filled with the simple enjoyment of discovering something new and interesting.
Perhaps my favorite thing is how you swell up and are so pleased when you receive some well deserved praise. Also the way you thank me for telling you that you did a good job.
You are the biggest help to me. You know how to play well with your sisters, to keep them entertained when I am busy. You are getting to be very good at your jobs now, and they are real jobs that help me out a lot. I can't imagine our family without you as the big brother. You do such a good job at it.
I like listening to you make up songs while you are playing. Your dad and I laugh together when we overhear you singing a theme from a Mozart symphony, or Star Wars, at the top of your lungs. You are naturally musical, and you seem to be completely unconscious of your gift. You don't know how much of a contrast it is to other kids you know that you are always on pitch and can carry a tune so well. I like singing with you in the mornings.
There is sweet eagerness to your approach to all of the things you pursue that blesses me to see. (With the possible exception of cleaning the bathroom and picking up your lego every day.) I love that even though most of our gifts to you today are badly needed clothes you will be delighted with every single one. When I asked you what you wanted for your birthday this year your answer was, "I want a Star Wars birthday, at Beema's house, with chicken noodle soup and angel food cake. And I want ewoks in canoes made out of carrots and celery again like last year."
I was wanting to know what to buy you for a present. But you don't usually think in those terms.
I hope you never grow too old to be sincere and earnest about life and the people around you. I hope you continue to be childlike, even as you become less childish, that the spontaneous wonder that charms me so will stay with all your life.
Tonight I will make chicken noodle soup again, as I have for the last three years, and hope this angel food cake from scratch idea works out. I can't wait to see your face when you see all the decorations we're planning to put up while you're at Seaworld with Beema. I hope you have a really great time. And I hope that this year goes a little more slowly than last year did, so I can have more time with you.