You have been 12 for about 4 months now, and I can honestly say that I love this age. You are just so much fun. You are acting more mature, like a teenager instead of a child, and you are conversational and witty and sarcastic. We have real, deep conversations and can talk through issues. There is very little "discipline" that has to happen anymore, as typically we can just have a talk and resolve any dilemmas.
You have grown an insane amount (you gained approximately 6 inches in height from age 11 to age 12 and jumped to the 74th percentile for height!), and your voice has deepened and your face has matured. You have started braces (you are doing Invisalign-type, so no one can really tell), and you now wear contacts so we rarely see you in your glasses.
You still love all things computers and programming. You regularly play Minecraft with and against your friends, and you also spend hours writing programming code that does all kinds of things, from mathematical calculations to creating video games. You also still love building with Legos and tinkering with electronics in your spare time. You now have your own room with all of your Legos in it, so I'll hear you in there digging through your Lego bins at various times. When not on the computer or building something, you usually have a book in your hand. You still go through hundreds of novels per year, mostly fantasy. We often have to tell you to shut a book when it's time for dinner, or to go to bed, or to be present and socialize with the people around you.
You are a walking encyclopedia of knowledge on various topics, and your nickname this year in school was "The Professor" because you would help teach the class and answer questions when you understood a topic well. You still struggled with your emotions in class at times, but by the end of the year your teacher said she could see a huge improvement in how you handled frustrations. It was so exciting to hear. (And yes, you went back to in-person school for 5th grade after doing virtual school for 4th grade. It seems like it was the right choice, fortunately!) You head off to 6th grade in a new school in less than a month, and I'm both nervous and very excited for you.
You are still a quiet and emotional kid compared to others, but you are much more in control of yourself now than you used to be, and you seem so much more confident in most social situations. Your anxiety has greatly lessened (or else you just handle it better) and you rarely seem depressed. You no longer go to therapy and are managing life just fine without it, which is so wonderful. Overall, you seem to be very content right now. Yes, you occasionally get moody and grouchy (because I think every pre-teen does!), but really it's pretty infrequent and super manageable.
Shortly after I wrote your 11-year-old post, you decided to take a break from piano. It was stressing you out too much. And then, after a year, you decided to start it up again just recently. It still definitely stresses you out, but you're trying to push through. I know it's hard for you to work through things that are difficult for you. You also decided to try swim team again this year after not doing it for three years. Your dad and I were shocked and also so impressed. You've not gone to every practice and have only done a couple of the meets, but we're trying to give you space to do it at your own pace. So far you haven't quit, so our current way of handling it seems to be working well enough!
We started going back to the ninja warrior gym this past fall and winter, and you really enjoyed that. It was great to see you participating in physical activity that you actually enjoy. I am sure we'll take you back again this fall once swim season ends and we're not at the pool almost every night.
You are still a cautious rule follower who avoids risks at all costs. We regularly leave you home alone now with a phone, because we know you are super responsible and won't do anything crazy. We can leave Greyden home with you, too, which has been AMAZING because now your daddy and I can go out together without kids or a babysitter!! This is a great new stage of parenting!
Speaking of Greyden, the two of you haven't been playing together as much over the past year. I know that your relationship will ebb and flow, and so this isn't unexpected. Hopefully you move into another period of really enjoying each other in the future, but I do realize that you are very different individuals with not much in common (other than living in the same house and having the same parents). At least you are typically kind to each other, and you care about each other's feelings, even if you don't hang out together a ton.