Eleven Years Old

Dear Tad,

Another birthday has come, and while only another year has passed, I think you’ve grown about three inches in height.

Physically, you are growing fast – and we still can’t seem to put much weight on your bones.  You’ve lost your last baby tooth that you needed to lose before we can start orthodonture.  I have to get you a haircut every six weeks or you look a little too fluffy.

Emotionally, I’m sure that you are growing, but sometimes it’s hard to tell.  Especially when you are attempting to pound the snot out of your brother, or taunting your sister.  But I do see flashes – when you talk to grown-ups that you’ve just met, or when you make socially appropriate small talk, when you order for yourself at restaurants, when you consider your own safety in parking lots, or when you stop and realize how much smaller Thumper is than you are.

You can’t wait to go back to school, see all your friends, be with your teachers, get back in your groove.  While I am happy that you are so ready to go back, I’m sad that this next year will be your last one at your beloved elementary school.  However, I’m not going to dwell on that now – I’m just going to enjoy this one last year of you being in an environment that you feel completely safe and happy being in.

The Mariners are on an amazing win streak at the moment, and their new mantra is “Keep Fighting.”

This is your new mantra, too.

Keep fighting, Tad.  Keep fighting to learn more.  Keep striving to gain more emotional control.  Keep going on your academic subjects – even when things get hard.  Your dad and I believe in you, buddy.  We know you can fight on.  All we have to do is look at how far you have come, to realize how much further you can go.

Keep fighting.

We love you with all our hearts.  You are my Batman, my comedian, my resident artist, and my shark expert – and I am so proud of you.

Tad, age 11

Happy 11th birthday, Tad!


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