So handsome and grown up, now that you are eight. I remember when I would tell you, "don't get any bigger now Liam," on your birthdays and you would always say the same thing, "I won't Nana." Now look what has happened...Your eight years old and you are such a wonderful boy. I won't ask you to stop growing anymore because I want to see all the wonderful things you are going to do and become.
Just this year you have changed so much. Second grade and reading. The tables are turned as you read to me now. I love that. You concentrate and you sound out those words and now you just read right along. You know how much Nana and Papa love reading so it really makes me happy to see you reading also. You will never be without a friend as long as you have a good book to get lost in..and it cracks me up that you love maps. A good friend and a map and you are on your way to so many exciting places.
This year you moved a bit away from us...and at first I was worried that maybe we wouldn't see you as much. I think you were a bit worried also. We both know now that everything worked out fine. When I miss you, I can hop in my car and go to visit you and Jaxson and when you miss me, we can make a date...how cool is that..but really you are so busy, we are just thankful for still having you every Wednesday and now we get to travel to all your games and activities. You sure keep us young.
Liam, I'm amazed at how much you love sports. You try them all and some you keep the following year and some you let go of. Your two biggest loves are baseball and football and you excel at both. It really is so exciting to watch you and your team play. You only lost one of the football games this year and went on to the championship but unfortunately that didn't work out. I was so proud of how you were a bit disappointed but you were able to move on quickly. Thats really good sportsmanship. Your other great love is Karate and you are learning so many good things there. Life lessons and how to honor your family and friends. It's all good my friend. You bring a new excitement to our family with all that you do in sports...I must say though, you better watch out. Jaxson is pretty good at karate also.
Speaking of Jaxson, can I just say how much I love being with the two of you and how so often I catch a glimpse of hugs between the two of you and also sometimes it so beautiful to see you put your arm across Jaxson shoulder as you walk together. Yes, I know you have your tiffs but in the end, love wins out. You are good friends and love being together and Jaxson thinks your just the best big brother...so sweet. Love him all you can Liam, even as you grow. He will always stick by your side and everyone needs someone to count on...teach him how to be a good person and let him teach you how to laugh and be playful. I think my favorite of all these photo's is the one where you and Jaxson are riding in the jeep we gave you both for Christmas last year. Whenever the weather is nice, you both go to the garage and get your jeep. Most of the time you drive Jaxson and he's perfectly content to let you be the driver. I get the biggest kick out of seeing you both go up and down the street, sometimes with packages in the back. That's when your playing "post office"...Of course the two of you on the Buddy Bench is pretty special also.
There is another side of you Liam that has shown itself this year. It's a gentler side. Your more thoughtful in your approach to things and people, actually with animals also. You understand better now, that it's important sometimes to be slow when approaching Gracie and you let her come to you...there was a time when your excitement got the best of you and you scared her. Now, she comes to you for a pat and she gives you kisses and I see in your eyes that you understand her needs and your gentleness is reward by having her seeking you out..
We are a small family Liam so always remember to keep your family close. You have been such a gift to us from the day you were born and we love seeing you as often as we can. As you grow and get new friends and your world expands, remember to always make time for family. I like the phrase "family first"...no one will ever love you like your family loves you. You and Papa are the game players, you and Uncle Chris are the silly ones but he will be your best reading buddy for sure as you get bigger, just like he will always be there for you when you need him. Now if only Papa could win a few games.
While we are on the subject of silly...it makes me so happy that even though you're eight now, you still know how to have fun and laugh at yourself. Boy that's an important quality. We all need to take life seriously, but not to serious. It's the best feeling in the world when the house is full of laughter.. When your laughing your being genuine and having fun. A gift you can give to yourself and spread around. You make the world a much more joyful place Liam.. Thanks for all the laughs this past year. Don't tell Mom we let you climb that tree though...LOL
What about Mom? You are her little big man. Jaxson is second in command. When the three of you are together and you get laughing, it starts in your toes and goes all the way up to your belly. You three have the best times and I want you to always remember how special Mom is. She is an adventurer and you will learn so much about life from her. All the good things and all the things to be careful of. Pay attention to her Liam because she is very smart. One other thing, she loves to travel and takes you to the most wonderful places...make sure your suitcase is never far away. You are fortunate to have her for a Mom, just like Papa and I are so grateful to have her for our daughter..and guess what else...you look a lot like her lately. Lucky you...She loves you so much...
Now Lil Man, about you and me...we have some very special times and loves. You are my best friend. Each year I check in on that. You told me when you were two..."best friends". Now that your getting bigger I just like to check in. So I ask...always you say, "yes Nana forever." This year, the same answer, different spin...Yes, Nana but don't ask me in front of my friends...O.kee Do.kee. We do have a really nice time together...this year we continued with our camera walks, taking photos and learning. For the first time you entered one of your photo's in the Topsfield Fair. I loved it. Next year both you and Jaxson will enter . Another first this year, I have been teaching you how to kayak on the lake at the Maine house. You are so good now that we go out together when the lake is still. I love those times best. But the time that matters the most to me is tea time with you. It was the very first thing we did together when you were small and today, you love tea as much as I do and you still ask for tea each time you come. We don't get to go to the tea house as often anymore but you will forever be a tea drinker. That makes my heart smile. Along with that, you still like to snuggle sometimes...you did move out of the big bed when you sleep over now but you have a little pull out couch in my room, so even though we don't share the big bed when sleeping, we both know the other is close by. The best talks happen when the lights are out...
So to tell you the truth Liam I was a bit sad at times as we moved on through this year. I knew it was right and good for you to start making a move with your own friends and doing all the great things that you do. I knew we wouldn't see each other as often and that your school days would be longer...but then the most amazing thing happened and now I know we will really always be best friends and connected. Do you remember just a few weeks back when Mom gave you your special cell phone with only six phone numbers in it for emergency calls if you should ever need it... well, I was so surprised one night when I heard a "ping"...and when I looked at my phone, there you were sending me my very first, most beautiful text message....yes, Liam, eight will be a good year, now that we have a new way to stay in touch...
Now how special is that...and I even got to see your fish...Thank you Liam for the gift of you...It's your birthday that we are celebrating but you bring all your gifts to the table...I'll just bake the cupcakes...and yes, you can come over to play basketball whenever you want...if we put enough toys in the drive-way, you will come...
You Were Born With Potential
You were born with goodness and trust.
You were born with ideals and dreams.
You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings.
You are not meant for
crawling, so don’t.
You have wings.
Learn to use them and fly.