Thursday, June 7, 2012

For Hannah on her 14th Birthday

For Hannah on (or close to) her 14th birthday.  I am a little late with this post.  I have been delinquent with blogging lately.  Hannah, I do a blog for each of my children on their birthday each year.  I will soon have 5 children to love and now have five birthday blogs to write!

In getting to know you this past year, I have enjoyed every minute.  I have felt nothing but warmth and acceptance from you and have come to discover what a really neat young lady you have become. 

You are driven in your goals, self-motivated and responsible.  You are devoted to your friends and family and know what is important.  I love that you are becoming a woman but can still enjoy playing outside and at the beach and will run down the big sand dune at the bluffs. 

I appreciate that you have made the effort to make the boys feel easier in their transition to Spanish Fort.  You have talked to them about the schools, introduced them to friends and made your friends aware that they are coming.  That means a lot to them and to me.

I loved getting to see you sing at All-State Chorus.  I loved our vacation to Colorado.  I even love your obsession with "The Notebook."  I have enjoyed getting to do girl things.  Getting our toes done was fun and I look forward to getting to spend more time with you. 

I think you know the story about the ring I wear that is a ring all the girls in my family wear.  I thought I would have to wait for grandchildren to be able to pass it down.  We all got ours at age 15.  I can't wait to pass it down to you next year.  

Happy Birthday.  I know this will be a wonderful year for you! 


For Jake on his 14th Birthday

Fourteen.  It has been a big year.  Many changes have passed and many changes are coming.  The lesson Jake will have this year is one of learning to accept that change doesn't have to be a bad thing.  Jake is not big on change.  I can understand that.  We, as a family, have been through so many changes in his short life.  Most of them have been difficult.  It would be easy to think that with change comes pain.  But with change can come joy as well.

I hope Jake sees that he already has coped well with changes this past year and will be confident in the coming year.  This year Jake changed middle schools, and while he didn't really want to do it, he did it with a good attitude.  This change caused some bumps in his academic career, but the thing that make me proud of him is that the second half of the year he really made an effort to take responsibility for his education.  He was proud of himself for taking control of his own achievements and improvements in those achievements. 

In changing schools, he had to play with a new school band.  Music, I think, is Jake's greatest area of confidence.  It helps him transition and gives him an instant group of friends.  He is good at the trumpet (and guitar) and has great things ahead in music.  Even with his new school, he achieved a lot at competitions and performances.  I love to watch him play and see him improve every year.  I am proud for him that he has a great trumpet teacher and a great role model in Mr. Evans.  If Jake takes advantage of everything Mr. Evans offers, he will be a better person for it.

This year we are moving.  Jake is back and forth on his feelings about it.  I know that his talent in the band will help him transition.  He will have friends and a place at his new school.  Our new family with help him transition as well.  They are all actively trying to make sure he and his brothers feel comfortable and included.  I know that it won't be easy and I will promise to help him keep in contact with his friends in Pensacola while getting him involved in his new life. 

Jake will do better than he thinks with all of these changes.  He is smart, talented and people love him.  As long as he remembers that, he will have many friends and be happy.  He has much to look forward to this year.

Accomplishment of note this year:  He is finally taller than me.  And has no problem lording it over me daily. 

Something I dread for next year:  A driver's permit.

Happy 14th Birthday, Jake!