Monday, March 24, 2014

Clayton - Version 9.0

My precious, biggest boy turned 9 years old on March 13th!  I can't believe that I have been his mom for almost a decade - that blows my mind!  My goodness, this boy of mine has taught me a lot!  He isn't perfect, by any means, but he is perfect for me!  He has taught me that sometimes it is fun to get sweaty and dirty playing outside.  He has taught me that Legos are, quite possibly, the best toy ever invented.  He has taught me that teaching my own child is both exasperating and rewarding all at the same time.  He has taught me that watching my own child succeed is even more exhilarating than any of my own accomplishments ever were.  He has taught me to laugh at myself, even when my first intuition is embarrassment.  He has taught me that sometimes potty humor really is funny.  ;)  He has taught me that life isn't meant to be perfect, and it is much more enjoyable when you embrace its imperfections.  Most of all, he has taught me that if my Father loves me even more than an earthly parent can love their child, His love must be even deeper and more all-encompassing than I can ever grasp.

A few things about my Clayton at 9:

*  He weighed 65 pounds (55th percentile) at his well check and was 54 inches tall (70th percentile).  His BP was 100/66 and his vision was 20/20 in both eyes.

*  He has 24 teeth - 6 of which are permanent (two on top and four on bottom).

*  He still hates cake and requested a cookie cake for his birthday.

 *  He loves playing baseball!  He is #3 and is playing for the Rangers this Spring (which he is thrilled about!).  After a 2 year hiatus, he is starting to catch up to his peers that have played since tee ball.  We are so proud of Clayton for working hard and not giving up!
*  His nickname at school is Claytonius - all of his classmates called him that.  I think that it stemmed from a project last year on Ancient Rome.  Apparently, it stuck and they still call him Claytonius.  So funny, right?

*  He is the early riser in our family, and is usually up and at 'em by 7:30-7:45.  He immediately gets dressed and starts his day.  He is a morning person, through and through.

*  He is super adventurous and will try anything.  He loves to try weird foods and will ride any ride at an amusement park.  Those traits come straight from his Daddy's DNA.  I am the polar opposite.  ;)
 *  He is super chatty and completely comfortable talking to adults.  He begs to come to our adult Sunday School class on Sunday mornings before going to his own class.  He will talk to our friends with ease, never missing a beat.  This would also be from Wade's genes, not my own.  I was super shy as a child and completely intimidated by adults.  I'm glad that he is a friendly little fella.  :)
*  Clayton loves to read and often has 3-4 books going at a time.  I am not much of a reader, so I am glad that he is.  Readers are leaders, right?  :)

*  Other than allergies and a mild tummy bug, C-man has been super healthy this year.  Praise the Lord!!!  I am so grateful for his continued health!

*  Clayton got his first B on his report card this quarter - an 89 in Math.  Bummer!  It was a good lesson for us both, though.  It turns out that the world doesn't stop if you don't make straight As.  ;)  The grade was actually a pride issue, not an academic issue.  A certain someone decided that he could do his long division test in his head and didn't need to work the problems out on scratch paper.  Hmmm.... that didn't work out so well.  He bombed the test and wasn't ever able to recover.  Lesson learned.  :)

His birthday interview:
Mom:  How do you like being 9?
Clayton:  It's fun.  I feel a little bit older, I guess.
M:  How tall are you?
C:  I'm 56 inches.
M:  How much do you weigh?
C:  I weigh 67.2.
M:  Who are your best friends?
C:  Inside my family or outside?  Because if it is inside, it is my two brothers.
M:  What about outside?
C:  Hmm...  Probably Aaron.  And off of my baseball team, LC and John Marc.  Also, Ben.
M:  What is your favorite thing to do?
C:  I like going to dinner places, and when we all just hang out.  I like going places with my friends.
M:  Not baseball???
C:  Oh yeah!  Baseball!  I like archery too.
M:  What is your favorite color?
C:   Red.
M:  What is your favorite food?
C:  Pizza.
M:  What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
C:  I like it when we go on vacation.  I'm hoping that, this Summer, we get to go to Destin again.
M:  What do you like to do in Destin?
C:  I like to boogie board, and I am hoping that this year Dad will let me learn how to surf.
M:  What was your favorite thing to play with?
C:  My Ripstic and my bike.
M:  What do you want to be when you grow up?
C:  I've got a whole list of things, but I'm going to cut it down short.  A fireman...  An astronaut... A racecar driver... Or a stuntman.
M:  What makes you happy?
C:  Like I said, when I hang out with my family.
M:  What makes you sad?
C:  When Sydney died...
M:  What is your favorite show on TV?
C:  Kickin' It, Duck Dynasty, Arthur...
M:  What is your favorite book (besides the Bible)?
C:  The Percy Jackson series... The Hardy Boys - the outcome of those are awesome.
M:  What do you like to learn about, what is your favorite subject at school?
C:  Recess and lunch.
M:  Come on... What do you like to learn about?
C:  Middle Ages History and Literature.  I love Literature.
M:  If you could meet anyone in History, who would you choose?
C:  Oh, that's simple, Babe Ruth.  Also, Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and King Tut.
M:  What is your favorite sport?
C:  Baseball.
M:  What position do you play?
C:  I mostly prefer pitcher, catcher, 2nd, and short.  I don't like outfield.
M:  How many teeth have you lost?
C:  Still 6.  I haven't lost any this year.
M:  What was your favorite part of your birthday?
C:  Probably going to Cracker Barrel.
M:  Who was your teacher this year?
C:  Mrs. Hargrove - she's also my favorite teacher.
M:  What is your favorite treat to eat?
C:  Cinnamon pizza

My Dear Clayton,

Happy Birthday, my Darling Boy!  I am so proud of the kid you have become!  You are kind, funny, smart, handsome, and passionate about Jesus.  I love you just the way that you are!

Physically, you are strong, fast, and energetic.  You decided to play baseball this year, and you are improving week by week.  You try hard and act like you really want to stick with it.  I have learned that sports are a great outlet for boys, so I am glad that you have found one that you love.  I hope that you will continue to encourage your teammates and persevere, even when you aren't the best player on the team.  That matters more to Daddy and I than your batting average or which position you play.

Academically, you are very bright.  You learn concepts quickly and continue to make great grades.  You love History and do very well in Math and Grammar.  You still struggle a bit with handwriting, but I've learned to let that go a bit.  I've let go of the reigns some this semester, and it has made our homeschool days so much more pleasant!  I've had to learn that you need to take ownership of your work and become more independent with your studies.   I go over your lessons with you and give you your assignments, then I walk away.  Gone are the days of me hovering over you and watching you write every letter and number.  It has been great for both of us!  Sure, there are days that you stare at the wall for 4 hours before getting your act together and finishing your work, but that is part of growing up.  My prayer is that you will learn to work as if unto the Lord and not unto man (Colossians 3:23).  I want you to care about school - I can't do that for you.  Part of raising older kids is giving them the tools and then letting them go.  You are teaching me this day by day.  Watching you suffer natural consequences is hard, but I am learning that is best.  I hope that these little consequences when you are little, will prevent bigger consequences when you are bigger.  Lord, let it be so!

Socially, you are a cheerful fella with lots of friends.  You have always gotten along well with girls, but you are learning that girls your age can be dramatic.  This is only the beginning, my Dear.  ;)  I've tried to help you nurture male friendships this year.  We have talked about having a Paul (older, Godly man that can disciple you), a Timothy (younger boy that you can disciple and help with his walk), and a Barnabas (boy your own age that can encourage you in your walk) in your life.  I hope that you realize how important male friendships are - they will keep you out of a world of trouble, my son.  

After lots of prayer, Daddy and I have decided to move you to another school next year.  It was a hard decision, but we believe it is best for our family.  You are less than thrilled with our choice, mostly because it means leaving behind the friends that you have had since Kindergarten.  I know that is hard.  I also know that you will make new friends quickly and will bloom where you are planted.  It is going to be great, just you wait and see!

Emotionally, you are stubborn and strong willed.  I get it.  I'm those things, too.  It takes a lot to get to you, which is good and bad.  You aren't easily bothered by people being ugly (good), but it takes a steep punishment to get to your heart (bad).  You rarely cry or get angry, and love to make people laugh.  You are cheerful and always have a smile on your face (sometimes it is a mischievous smile, but a smile nonetheless...).  :)  We are working on not being prideful and being exceptionally respectful to adults.  You are making great progress, and I love your heart.  You are making more good choices than bad these days, which is wonderful to watch.  One of my friends told me recently that she hopes that her baby boy grows up to be like you.  What a wonderful compliment!  I love that people think so highly of you, sweet Boy!

Spiritually, we talk a lot about representing Him well.  You are an ambassador for Christ - the salt and light to this world.  You serve an amazing God, and I want you to shine bright to all that are around you.  Your name is written in the Book of Life, and the Spirit is with you.  I hope that you will do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).  That is my deepest prayer for you, Clayton.  To be a humble servant of the Lord that trusts in His plan for your life.  Never stray from Him, Dear One.  Hold tightly to Him, as if your very life depends on it.  Because, here's the deal:  it does!

I am crazy about you, Clayton.  Sometimes literally crazy, sometimes figuratively.  ;)  I know that you are capable of so much - you are an amazing child!  That is why I am so disappointed when you make bad choices.  I can only hope that you learn from your mistakes - when you know better, you do better.  Jesus, Others, then Yourself - that is how you find true JOY.  I hope that your 9th year is a wonderful one!  Let's finish this first decade strong!  

I love you to the moon and back,