Carter Is Eight Old Years

Eight.

I am struggling with that number, you see, because there is no way it has been eight years since you were born. Your dad realized over the weekend that in ten years you will be an adult and I covered my ears and sang, “LALALA” because I didn’t want to hear that. You will always be my baby.

Because you made your dad and I parents. Your entrance meant our world expanded exponentially in joy, love, worry, heartbreak and laughter. No one can prepare a person for the onslaught of feelings that having a child brings you and you, my love, were the introduction to that. And oh what a ride it has been!

Here is my list of who you are this year…

  • You are not a little kid anymore. We don’t have to watch or monitor you, you understand expectations and rules and can (more or less) self regulate your behavior without our intervention. I have confidence you use your manners when we are not around, that you are polite and kind and that everyone happily invites you back because they enjoyed you.
  • You have a more advanced sense of humor that I would expect … well, you always have, and it is super fun. You make funny puns, tell silly jokes and get it when we tease you and can tease back.
  • Your level of sophistication around “rules” in the games you make up has increased even more. You frustrate your brother because of the complexity of the things you imagine and he can’t follow what it is you are trying to do.
  • “You know what?” is a phrase you use every third sentence, whether it is necessary or not. And I have started using it because you say it so much, haha.
  • Your dad feels like you appreciate his jokes more than anyone else in the family.
  • You are starting to show streaks of maturity within your behavior – you have always been an incredibly strong willed child, but now you understand when you dig your feet in and whether or not it is worth it. And you can talk about it, which is HUGE progress.
  • You have embraced your expander like a champ and I think everyone cheered the second you lost that crazy snaggle tooth that went sideways into your lip. You are showing glimpses of the young man you will look like now (though I try to block it out as much as possible).
  • We have thoroughly enjoyed watching you completely thrive in your first year of the Elementary Advanced Program (EAP) – you have made some amazing friends, your teacher is a complete rock star and it is nice to see you pushed to do your best in a rapid paced environment so you don’t get bored.
  • You often have to watch a new a situation before you are comfortable, but once you do, you dive in (cub scouts in particular). This makes it hard to get you to be open to doing new things, but you are getting better about trying.
  • We were really worried about getting a dog because you were always so afraid of dogs. The bond you have with Mazy leaves my heart so warm and happy. When you are sad or upset, you will crumple onto the floor and she will snuggle right into you and you just hang onto her, petting her until you feel better. It’s like she knows you need her and she will just sit with you until you are okay.

You have grown so much over the past year and matured into this wonderful young boy that still surprises me constantly. You are curious, you take in way more than we realize (we haven’t watched the news in our house for a good two years because you still talk about and are upset about the story where a tree fell on a young girl on the east coast), you are so comfortable around adults and can still easily bridge gaps with all the kids you know. It’s hard to remember that you are only a kid sometimes with some of the questions you ask and the conversations you can hold, but you are forever my first baby.

I love you, bug.