The age Harry Potter was when he found out he was a wizard (as you like to remind me).
The age you will be when you get to go to Universal Studios and see The World of Harry Potter attractions there (in August 2015).
The age you are turning today.
How does that happen?!
People always say that “it goes so fast.” And it’s true. It may not seem that way day-to-day, but when I stop and think, when I reflect on your 11 years, it does sometimes seem like just yesterday that you were born.
It’s been quite a year for our family, navigating some new developments with the mental health of our family, especially mine (as I have shared about here on my blog). I won’t go into more detail, but when you and other loved ones read this (today or in the future), you’ll know what I mean. I believe that we are all better for the help we’ve been seeking and receiving.
You are in 5th grade this year and seem to be doing well. You are in your 5th year at Keller, with one class per grade, and definitely have gotten to know your fellow classmates well over the years. You change classrooms for almost every subject and being at a Chicago Public School Regional Gifted Center, your education continues to be accelerated and intense.
You are working on a big science project, due in December, and though I tend to feel stress when I think about it, you seem to have things under control. You chose a topic that fits you, having to do with how to create a simple video game and whether that can be done on a home computer. It will be fun and interesting to follow your progress along the way.
You made the choir at school, for the second year in a row, which you are excited about, especially that the first practice fell on your birthday (today). You ran in two more 5K with me this year, the Ridge Run (for the third year in a row, with Daddy joining us this time pushing Abby in the stroller) and Running for Hope (for the second year in a row), with Team Caring Connection. You also learned to water ski this summer in Michigan, which you and Daddy are so excited about!
You enjoyed being on the basketball team during last school year and learned a lot from the experience. You are taking a golf class at a local park, which you seem to like too. You still really like to act/perform and are loving practicing to be in a Magic Tree House book based musical with Abby at the Beverly Arts Center in November. It’s the first time you and your sister have been able to do something like this together and it is such a cool experience for both of you!
Your dad is still the den leader of your Webelos II den for Cub Scouts and you both are gearing up to start your last year together as a cub scout, before you transition to boy scouts next year.
You still a really into all things Pokémon, are a big fan of Skylanders, Super Smash Bros., and Legos. You really like to read and have blown through a number series in the past year. Since your school requires that you read books in your lexile range, it has been interesting to find age appropriate ones at your level.
Both of the birthday gifts you most wanted this year don’t get released until after your birthday today, so you asked that we give you I.O.U.s to go and buy them tomorrow (10/3) when the new Super Smash Bros. 3Ds game comes out and on Sunday (10/5) when the new Skylanders Trap Team comes out.
This morning when you came down stairs, after you woke up with your alarm, got yourself showered, and dressed, I sang to you and we embraced for a while. You were beaming, as you so often are, when you are really happy! It was a really nice moment, that I hope I don’t forget. I flashed back to the day you were born and was quickly overwhelmed by how much has happened in our life and family since.
I try not to take you for granted, especially because a dear neighborhood friend of mine lost her son to a tragic accident when he was 11 years old. That was over 7 years ago now, but I have always wondered how it would be and feel when you were his age when he died. I hope I can remember, in the midst of our busy life, in the year(s) to come, to focus on how blessed we are to have you and your sister Abby here in our lives, with your baby sister Molly forever watching out for us from Heaven.
I wish you a very happy birthday, my dear Sean Owen! I look forward to our dinner out tonight, at the restaurant of your choice (which I think as of this morning you had decided on Culver’s, with Wendy’s as a close second). This will be the first birthday of yours that I can recall, when we didn’t eat dinner at Snackville Junction, as it is now closed.
Tomorrow night you will get to have your second slumber party friend birthday gathering with some of your buddies. Last year’s went so well, you wanted to do it again and we agreed.
I don’t know what this next year of your life will hold, but I trust that you will face your challenges head on, as you always do, continue to learn how to deal with frustration (something we all struggle with), and celebrate/share with others what an awesome, creative, and caring boy you are!
P.S. I know you’ve been excited about/anticipating me writing this. I hope it lived up to your expectations! 🙂