I know that things aren't always easy for you. You hear the phrases "Not right now," "Mommy just has to..." and "Hold on" more than I'd like. We are often busy with lots of appointments and school and you have had to learn how to let Madelyn come first a lot of times, but some of that is just part of growing up, and you are so amazingly patient! I hope that we have provided you with enough opportunities throughout this past year to show you how important you are to us. You and Daddy go on little Daddy/Aiden Dates and he enjoys taking you on Friday mornings to get Dunkin Donuts, to the park, or just run errands together. I wish you and I had more time to do Mommy/Aiden things, but we sneak it in when we can, usually while Maddie's napping. :)
You are such a wonderful big brother to Madelyn. You help her during therapy, hold her hand when she's hurt, keep her from getting into too much mischief, and play with her when she gets into your toys. I'm sure you will both have times when you won't want the other around and I'm sure the fighting and sibling rivalry will someday come, but for now you are the best of friends. I'm in awe of your love for your sister, and I'm so lucky to be able to have a glimpse into your relationship. I hope that it only continues to grow stronger.
You started school this year and loved every second of it. You have asked me almost every day this summer if you are going back to school soon. When I reply that it will be awhile before the new school year, you get sad because you're that eager to go back to school and be with your friends. Your two best friends at school this year were Caleb and Lochlan. Some of your other friends were Francesca, Rio, and Laurel. Unfortunately, Caleb's dad took a job in Tennessee and moved away. You were heartbroken and cried for days. When you found out that Caleb wasn't going to be able to be at your birthday party, you told me that if Caleb didn't come then you didn't want anyone to come. I finally convinced you to invite Lochlan, and you couldn't have been more excited to have your friend there. The two of you played in your room and you even told me that I wasn't allowed in there. You had a sly look on your face wondering if you were going to get away with telling me you didn't want me in your room to play with you. I left feeling so happy for you and so sad for me that you are growing up and asserting your independence. Your world is growing and expanding beyond me and as wonderful as it is to watch, it's also sad for Mommy, but I'm so incredibly proud of you!
Speaking of being proud, a recent conversation went something like this:
You: DON'T BE TOO PROUD OF ME!
Me: Can I be a little proud?
Me: Ok, I'm not proud at all.
You: Ok, good.
Me: (whispering) But, you know I'm proud, right?
You: Oh yes, yes!
I may not be allowed to say it to you right now, but I can tell you here, I am incredibly proud of you! I'm not sure you'll be able to know how proud until you have kids of your own someday, but you are an amazing little boy and if I had a choice between you and all the other little boys in the world to be my baby, I would chose you a million times over and over!
This year you have been fascinated by sharks, Spiderman, Transformers and tornadoes. Your favorite color is red (because of Spiderman), your favorite songs are "We are the Dinosaurs" by The Laurie Berkner Band, and "Snow is Gone" by Josh Ritter (but only when it's spring or summer, you refused to allow us to listen to it during the winter because the snow was not, in fact, gone), your favorite shows are The Backyardigans and Wild Kratts. Your favorite building in "downtown Pixburgh" is the UPMC building, and every time you see it you remind us.
You have learned how to write most of your name, however still need a little help with the e... but we just tried a new tactic and I think you've got it! You like to pick out your own clothes to wear in the morning and recently you have demanded to only wear the Spiderman outfit you got from Mimi and Granddad for your birthday. You fell out of a tree while climbing it and Daddy raced to your rescue, expecting you to be crying, but instead you pushed him away and said you needed to practice again so that you didn't fall next time.
You changed the slogan on Aiden Cafe from "Here it's personal", to "I believe you'll like it", to "Ideal", to "That's how it is". You have funny sayings, like "Comfy cozy, I call it, comfy cozy" and "Dreams are like gummies, you can't have them all day" (you are wise beyond your years) and when Daddy told you that you were his best friend, your response was, "Something like that".
You know almost everything there is to know about sharks and have read almost every book in the library about them. When you learned that more sharks are killed by humans every year than humans are killed by sharks, you wanted to lock up every person that killed sharks in a cage and tell them to stop. You will only eat eggs if they are green, and mostly eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast, but only if it's maple and brown sugar because you think it's better with sugar, what you don't know is that I get the kind that is "reduced sugar". You cried with me when we had to cancel Maddie's first birthday party because Daddy was sick, but then you celebrated with me and Maddie when no one else was here.
You insisted that we buy you a bow tie like the one the Cat in the Hat wears, but then refused to wear it until you saw an episode of The Backyardigans where Pablo was pretending to be Dames Bond... and no, that's not a mistake, I said Dames. You still take afternoon naps most days, but I like the days you skip them because it gives me some time to spend just with you.
You are an amazing little boy and I can't wait to see what the next year brings for you. I'm so lucky to be your Mommy and have a front row seat to watch you become the person you are going to be! Thank you for giving me the best job in the world! I love you!