The tree is up, the lights are strung, the holiday anticipation is mounting...
But first, Andrew.
Birthdays come 'round so quickly. Now he is twelve.
His special day fell on a busy weekday, so it was just the boys and me for dinner that night. We waited till Olivia was home from her night class at school and Jon from teaching his men's group at church to celebrate with song and cake.
His one birthday wish was a unicycle.
He has been quick to master it. He can now ride for a couple blocks to the local school, and he is even able to "free mount." I guarantee, riding a unicycle is harder than you'd think. I know 'cause I tried!
Andrew, being the guy that he is, studied up in the weeks leading to his birthday. He knew exactly what size and style he needed, and had watched countless videos on the best way to learn. I have no doubt he had mentally practiced, visualized, and dreamed about riding so that when the time came, he was ready to go. Calculation and preparation combined with unshakeable determination are characteristic of this boy.
I think he has the materials he needs to ride pretty far in life....
This boy loves the beach, too, and there was no doubt that this was where he wanted to go. He told me he didn't want a party with lots of people, just one or two friends who like to play tackle football in the sand. He said he likes to go to parties, but doesn't like being the center one. Funny, I thought, how similar we are in this way.
We practically had the beach to ourselves. Andrew and Jacob played with two of their friends till the sun set, at which point Jon and our older two joined us. After dark, the kids played Ghost in the Graveyard, and we grilled our food over some flames. Simple, easy, delightful.
If you have read past birthday posts, I'd have to say Andrew has remained about the same. He's just so consistent. He follows his routine, always has a plan in mind for the day, and is persistent in accomplishing his goals. He is orderly and focused.
He takes school work seriously, yet he is just as serious about getting it completed and out of the way so he can get on with his plans! He definitely has a mathematical mind, but confidently writes his weekly papers and maintained a perfect score thus far in his writing class. He enjoys serving the toddlers in our church nursery, experimenting with plants, catching lizards and salamanders, playing football, and body boarding. He is super dependable with chores around the kitchen and house. It is his job to keep the interior of my car clean: he takes out all the mats before using the shop vac, and wipes down all the surfaces... often without being asked!
What has been really neat to see recently is his sense of humor developing and, well, making me laugh at the unpredictable things he says. He has gained a tremendous amount of confidence, and this has been evident in his witty come-backs. He is also much more inclined to laugh at himself than he used to be, and this light-hearted approach within relationships is just so sweet to see.
I guess he is considered a pre-teen by age, but I'd say he is older in character and younger in boyish playfulness. With two teens ahead of him already, I know the changes will come swiftly and drastically. I'm committed to cherishing the last little while of his boyhood days. Sweet Andrew. What a special son he is!