GR8 8

Great 8!

Great 8!

I’ve been blessed with another wonderful year of you.  Another year of your energy, compassion, humor, LOVE of sports, competitiveness, charm, intelligence, entertainment, wit, stubbornness, inquisitiveness, loquaciousness, smile, fear, imagination, hugs, creativity,

This past year has been filled with all kinds of wonderful memories, moments and milestones:  Your first year playing organized sports and it was tackle football at that. Speaking at the Touch of Gold Luncheon for the First Baptist West Community Association’s annual fundraiser. Representing the rising 2nd graders during the Y.O.U. end of summer program. Giving the welcome during Y.O.U. Sunday. Our fun date night activities (Bobcats games, Tuesday nights at the Mint Museum, food truck Fridays, movie outings, etc.).  The hours we spent at the beach/pool in Hilton Head during Labor Day weekend. Saturday mornings at the Farmers Market. Your random but always perfectly timed hugs and kisses.  How you make and have friends at some of our regularly visited places (i.e. Mr. Darrell that works for Time Warner Arena and Kemba’s mom who you always enjoy having conversations with you. And Mr. Rico at Harris Teeter who you always have conversations with about sports), you are very much like Sugar and make friends everywhere you go.  Your consistent A Honor Roll academic performance.

One moment I will remember was your disappointment when jersey numbers were assigned and how you wanted #7 because that was LSU Tyrann Mathieu’s number but the child before you chose that number and you were given #8.  Oh you were mad!!!  I remember trying to convince you that picking a number because of someone else wasn’t what you needed to do because YOU were going to be so awesome that people wanted to be your number. That comment fell on deaf ears.  I also reminded you that my favorite number is 4 and asked “what is half of 8?”, to which you completely ignored me. I even stretched to say, when you turn 8 to the side what do you get? And he knew it was the infinity symbol and I said which means you will be infinitely great. Then I pointed out that your Dad’s jersey number in college was 44 and then I had the dumb idea of asking you, “and what is 4+4?”.  If I could have taken a picture of the look on your face!!!  Your tone and expression clearly communicated that in your head you were thinking ‘oh, so now you want to insult my intelligence as if I don’t know basic math’.  And as much as you love your Dad and get excited about being able to do things like him, with this situation, you wanted to step out and have something that was just yours.  In a very respectful but forceful way, you continued to argue that you wanted to be #7 and even went so far as to pull the nepotism card (since Daddy is the head coach).  In the end, you didn’t get your way, but I continue to admire your persistence when it comes to things you believe in and want.

As all parents feel about their children, you are special.  And I am ok with sounding a little snobbishly boastful by saying that there is something very special about you as I feel that one of your life’s purposes is to deliver a message just for me.  I haven’t been able to figure it out yet but I know that if I continue to allow you to ‘just be you’ and just sit still with open ears, mind and heart that I will hear the message meant for me. You are the epitome of “big things come in small packages” and I’m enjoying the daily joy of opening a new gift.

My daily challenge as your parent is to not get in the way of your greatness as I perceive many parents do.  It isn’t done with malice or spite, but from a genuine place of trying to protect our children and guiding them down ‘the right path’.  The problem is that we forget that no two road maps of life are the same, so I can’t be your Google Maps or MapQuest.  I have to make sure that I am a FULL self service gas station.  It is up to me to make sure there is gas in the pumps, an air machine to fill your tires when the pressure is low, clean water and brush to wipe your windshields to keep your line of vision clear, car fresheners to help you deodorize some of the messy spills, premium oil to keep your engine in pristine condition and above all, make sure that I am always there to provide that personal assistance that may be required in some of the situations that can’t be helped by ‘parts’.

 

How appropriate that the movie, ’42’ about Jackie Robinson was released today on your birthday (which I’m glad you are excited about seeing).  He literally changed the face of Major League Baseball in the modern era.  I know that you, GR8 8, will have a similar profound impact during and beyond your lifetime.  I see it being something on a more global/community scale and outside the world of sports as you have always had a humanitarian spirit.  One thing I know for sure, your father and I have been blessed to experience your GR8ness and it has had a life changing impact on our lives.

I love you to infinity and beyond and then some and then a lotta some!

4ever your biggest fan, strongest supporter and proud Mother.