We are now well into your year of being 9 years old! You turned 9 nearly three months ago, but I am learning to be ok with getting these yearly updates completed months after your birthdays. I figure, at least I'm actually doing them at all, right? :)
We sure love you, buddy. You bring such depth and feelings to our lives. You continue to be our introverted, sensitive, and introspective child. You react to everything around you with emotion and as a result remind us of the deeper parts of life.
You continue to be smaller for your age (19th percentile for height this year). You still have your longish blonde hair (which you are very attached to) and gray-blue eyes. At your wellness doc visit this year, your eyesight was not as perfect as it's always been, but the doctor said you can probably wait another year before needing glasses. (You did not like this news about future glasses one iota.) You've lost eight teeth so far and I'm relieved that they're coming in pretty straight (although with a large adorable gap between the front two).
Your absolute favorite pastime (other than screen time, which I'm pretty sure is every kid's favorite) is reading. You read, read, read, read. Your current obsession is middle-grade fantasy. It is not uncommon for you to read an entire novel or more in a single day (especially on the weekends or when tracked out of school). You go through series so quickly that we've resorted to going to the library and walking up and down the middle grade aisles to find new books for you, because I've run out of recommendations from others.
Another favorite activity is ninja warrior obstacle climbing and jumping, so we may get you involved with that more in the fall at a local ninja warrior gym. Your daddy built you and your brother a small ninja-warrior-type gym in your playroom for Christmas this year, and you two have had a blast in there. Right now you are being kept busy with soccer and swim team. Despite having a decent amount of natural ability, soccer is not your favorite due to the unpredictability of whether you're about to get a kick to the shins or a ball to the face. Therefore, you don't do a whole lot of actual playing on the field. However, you keep requesting to do soccer because you love seeing your friends on the team. You seem ok with swim team (and actually are a very good swimmer!) as long as the water or air are not too cold. If you feel cold then you become quickly discouraged.
You are still taking piano lessons, although the daily practicing at home is a frequent point of tension between you and me. You do NOT like making mistakes, and making mistakes is part of learning to play. So we frequently hit stand offs during our practice sessions after you've struggled with a certain piece of music. You will say that it is too hard and you cannot do it, and then you will refuse to play again despite all my prodding and encouragement. On the other hand, if you decide you like a certain piece of music, you will go to the piano and play for 30 minutes straight all on your own, frequently adding to the music with your own improvisations. The way you seem to "feel" the music as you're playing has brought tears to my eyes as I've watched you. I hope we can continue to get through practicing and lessons so that you can continue to have music as an outlet in the future.
Your favorite school subject seems to be science. You love learning about the world and have hundreds of facts memorized, which you'll share whenever the opportunity arises. You do well in all your school subjects, but you really do not like writing. You also get frustrated in math because you can get the right answers but cannot always understand the ways the teachers want you to get to the answer (unfortunately that's Common Core for ya).
You still love building and designing, and you make frequent Lego creations or other creations out of supplies you find around the house. You also love taking apart electronics and figuring out how they work. You have a large bin in the garage full of electronic parts that you play around with on a regular basis.
You are still cautious, careful, and responsible, always following the rules and watching out for your safety and the safety of everyone around you. If something seems unsafe, you will basically refuse to do it.
You are still very emotional and can switch from hyper-joyful to devastated crying in a split second. You feel everything so incredibly deeply, and anxiety and frequent bouts of depression have become a regular part of your life. After implementing diet changes last spring, we saw incredible improvements, but the last few months have been a struggle again. You are also incredibly hard on yourself and very upset whenever you feel that you've done something wrong or are incapable of doing something the way you think is best. So we are doing all we can to help you at home, and you've also begun seeing a new talk/play therapist. You've only had a few session so far, but I am feeling hopeful because you seem a little more relaxed and a bit more able to handle yourself after each session.
Although you are most commonly quiet and subdued, you also have a very goofy, wisecracking, sarcastic side that can surprise people. You love to crack jokes and make people laugh, but you save that side of yourself for those you feel safest with. When that side of you does come out, you can even get a little bit hyper-crazy.
You don't like crowds or being the center of attention, but you absolutely love your close friends and are happiest with you're with them. You are also incredibly dedicated to your family and become broken-hearted when one of us is away from home for very long. Although I don't know you'd say so, I think your brother is your best friend. You boys get along amazingly well for how different you are from one another, and you can sometimes play all day long without even a little fight. You do have your squabbles and disagreements, but for the most part you support each other and love each other very well.
We are so thankful for you, buddy! We love you so much. Until next year. :)