It has been five months since your 9th birthday. The original letter was drafted on paper and I'm sure is residing somewhere in the Spokane County Courthouse, lost sometime during jury duty. Needless to say, our lives are full. You are your mother's son and try to squeeze more in every chance you get.
You are a joy, Noah: loving, dependable, smart. You have started respectfully questioning our "because I said so" reasons and are asking good questions. Even though you are only nine, adolescence is upon us; Dad and I don't know if we're ready, so take it easy on us. Some of your friends have cell phones and you frequently ask when it is your turn. The answer is still "not yet".
As a big brother, you routinely heckle your sisters, correcting their 6-year old knowledge any chance you get. You also teach them things in gentler ways and we still catch you snuggling with them occasionally. Things get wild and crazy when you, Kate and Glory build forts and the fort-building turns into pillow fights and wrestling. Screaming and laughing ring through the whole house. Ellie jumps in whenever she can.
You are developing a special relationship with Sam. It's hard to believe there was so much cousin rivalvry when you were younger. You both love Star Wars, Legos and guns and can spend hours upon hours holed up playing. You two have started writing letters to each other this year, complete with elaborate drawings of guns, maps and Star Wars-related things. You both have sisters with strong personalities and I'm so glad you have each other for brotherly support.
This year was a vacation-filled year. You got to boogie board and swim with sea turtles in Maui in April. We visited LegoLand with the Co-op Kids and Aunt Lauren and Tate in June. We went to Portland for the Cleto family reunion where you hit it off with Rico at the luau.
You keep your schedule full, partly because I'm your mom, but mostly because you want to try every new opportunity that comes your way. This fall you are playing Shadow soccer and running cross country (you made it to the all-city meet last year, which was a proud moment for all of us.) Your smart brain and hard work make you a good student; your teacher told me how great you are when I saw her this morning. You love books and finished the Harry Potter series this summer.
You are starting your second year of violin with Garnik. You have Dad's ear for music and most of it comes quite easily to you. We still struggle with practicing reliably, but I love to listen to you play. You are preparing for First Reconciliation this year and are looking forward to altar server training in the spring. When there are any free moments, they are filled with play dates with friends.
I know I say the same thing every year, but we can't believe how fast you are growing. It is a joy to watch and we are proud to be your parents.
Mom and Dad