You are a teenager!!! We are several months into you being 13 years old now, and age 13 has brought so much growth and amazing changes for you. I'm so excited to share about 13-year-old you.
We'll start with the physical stuff. You have grown by leaps and bounds. You are now almost 5'5" and hovering around the 80th percentile for height. This is incredibly baffling considering that you were below the 25th percentile until age 11! You have continued to wear your aligner braces over the last year and now have straight top teeth (and the bottom teeth are on their way). You also were diagnosed with pectus carinatum and received a chest brace many months ago, but at your appointment last week the pediatric surgeon said that you've graduated to only wearing the brace at night since your chest looks so improved. You've also been exercising a lot more and are starting to develop upper body muscles, which you are super proud of. Your feet are huge - a men's size 10.5 - and you now wear your dad's shirts.
School is currently going well for you. You are in 7th grade, and you seem to like your teachers. Your math teacher is helping you prepare to take a placement test in the spring to potentially test into High School Math 2 for next year. We are super grateful to her for this! You still love math and science the most but get good grades all around.
Last fall was a very rough time for you, right after I wrote your last life update. Starting middle school was difficult and interpersonal relationships were very messy. You were overcome by debilitating depression and anxiety, and it made everything hard. You rarely smiled and cried daily. It was very overwhelming. However, through meetings with school staff, the pediatrician, and starting anxiety/depression medication, we were slowly able to pull you out of it. Now, nearly a year later, you are honestly a completely different kid. You smile, laugh, and joke daily. You are trying to make friends, even when it involves going outside of your comfort zone. You are choosing to exercise because you say it makes you feel better and helps you sleep. We are so incredibly relieved.
Last fall you started year-round swim with New Wave swim club, and it was a rough go for a while. You felt slow and unskilled and typically walked out of practices within 15-30 minutes. This is also the same time period that you were struggling socially at school and experiencing severe anxiety and depression. However, in the spring you made some new friends and also your anxiety/depression medication started to work, and you began applying yourself at practices bit by bit. Over this summer you swam for your summer swim team at Shepherd's Vineyard, and you saw that you were a valuable asset to your team. You also started becoming more socially confident and talking with your teammates, and you seemed to realize how awesome it can be to be part of a team. You now seem dedicated to swimming, and you asked to sign up for year-round again and told us that you want to go to practice three times per week (instead of the two that we required of you last year). In the month and a half between summer swim and year-round practices starting, you've frequently gone to the summer pool to swim laps to stay in shape. We are so impressed and shocked and excited by this development, and we can't wait to see how the next year of swimming goes!
Over the past year you have continued taking piano lessons again at your own request, and you seem to be truly enjoying it even if you still don't want to participate in recitals (and I don't blame you for that). For fun, your favorite things to do right now are video games, programming, spending time digging or "building forts" in the park, working on a pond for our backyard, fishing (a new friend has gotten you into this), and reading.
Your dad and I love hanging out with you. You are witty and crack sarcastic jokes, but you also enjoy deep conversations and pondering life together. You are constantly sharing your knowledge about various topics. You seem to be super honest and open with your dad and I right now, which we cherish. When we do have issues with certain behaviors, we talk about them and they're usually resolved pretty quickly without much discipline.
We love you Krewson Lee, and feel so fortunate to have you as our son!
Mom and Dad