Tomorrow you are turning 9. 9!! Another year has passed and I'm wondering (again) where the time has gone. Just yesterday you were being born and the nurse put you in my arms to hold for the first time. It really doesn't seem possible that 9 years have passed.
Tonight, you asked me if I was going to write you another letter, like I do every year. The answer is yes. But this year, I'm mixing it up a little. I'm going to do a top 9 list in honor of your birthday. These are the top 9 things I LOVE about you. (There are many more, but I'll choose my favorite 9.)
Number 9: I love your creativity. You're so good at making things with your hands. I predict that you will be doing something in your career as an adult that has to do with you using skillful hands. Maybe you'll be a professional musician (violinist, perhaps?), an engineer, an artist? Whatever you set your hands to, I am positive you'll succeed.
Number 8: You're thoughtful...and not just when it comes to people and their feelings. You are a thinker. I can see you process things in your mind, figuring out how a toy is put together, how to draw or create something, how to take something apart. God gave you a great mind and I know that He will bless your willingness to learn and be taught.
Number 7: You care about others. You've worked hard this year on learning "you before me" and I'm seeing the fruit of those efforts. You are learning to put others' needs ahead of your own. It's not always easy. We live in such a selfish world, but I'll bet it feels good to give of yourself. God will always reward you for that.
Number 6: You're a fantastic big brother. This year, you've amazed me, not only at the way you've cared about and looked after Caden, but also the way you've embraced others who've needed time and attention. Thanks for always being so helpful. I rarely hear you complain when I ask you to help. I so appreciate the way you contribute and give of yourself.
Number 5: You're so talented. This goes without saying...anyone who knows you can see that you have innate musical ability, but there are also lots of other things you do well. I can't wait to see what God does with all that talent (that often seems to come out of your ears!!). Always treat that talent kindly...nurture it, be humble, and treasure the gifts you've been given.
Number 4: Your smile and your laugh. Recently, our dear friend said that one of her favorite sounds is your laughter. It's mine too! We ALL love it when you get tickled. :)
Number 3: Your sense of humor. Just like your daddy. That just makes me all kinds of happy.
Number 2: Your loving nature. I love that you curled up in my lap tonight as I relayed the story of your birth to you. Thanks for all the hugs, "I love you's" and all the kindnesses in between.
Number 1: Your forgiving nature. Cody, I fail as a parent more times than I succeed. I know I'm tough to live with sometimes. I know I often say and do things that hurt you. I'm so flawed, so imperfect...and you see it more than anyone else, I think. I am often so undeserving of the love and grace you show me, and yet, you pour it out time and time again. This is my favorite quality that I see in you...it's Christ-likeness. I am so thankful for the ways in which God is transforming you in to a young man that reflects Him. Of all the qualities I love about you, this is the one that I appreciate so much. To God be the glory, sweetheart. Great things He has done.
I can't wait to write my top 10 list next year. You are a joy, buddy. Thanks for being you!
I love you forever and always.