It has been a difficult year of change for Andrew and he has really stepped up to the plate and tried to handle it all with great maturity. Notice I said tried....He's has his moments of temper fits like the rest of us...but overall he's done very well considering the changes have been probably the hardest on him.
One sad story now I want to remember about Andrew this year. I feel that he has taken such a leap forward and my little boy is all but gone. The day before we left GA, many of you know we had to put Buddy down--just one of the many hard hands we've been dealt lately. It it had been raining steadily all day and the hole was filling with water faster than we could empty it. Buddy was a large dog (about 125lbs.) and he was hard for me to handle alone, so Andrew came outside, in the dark that night, to help us. We dug frantically with buckets in the mud while it continued to rain, attempting to get the hole back to it's original depth for a proper burial. The mud was so heavy I could no longer use the shovel, so Andrew and I began scooping mud out with our hands. When we finally had it cleaned out enough, Andrew helped Byron and I carry Buddy (wrapped in his blanket) from the car to the backyard. Then we lowered his heavy body down into the watery grave as gently as possible. Andrew stood upright, looked down on his puppy that had been with us since the day he came home from the hospital, and he began to sob. We took a moment and cried with him, but we knew there was little time to finish the task and quickly began scooping the mud back in to finish the burial.
I remember feeling so proud of Andrew. Something I like to tell myself when I get overwhelmed with what life has thrown at me is, "I can do hard things." I recognize that in the last year, Andrew has really learned and embraced the meaning of that phrase. What courage, for a 10 year old boy to willingly help with the grueling task before us that night. To be able to do what had to be done, in spite of the emotional pain he was experiencing. I have seen in this last year, a little boy begin to take steps that will help him grow into a wonderful man. What an honor as a mother to experience these things with my children.
Ok--no more sad stories--onto the Birthday fun!
A height check at 11 years old.
Okay, okay, I took off my heels to make it fair!The day is in the near future. He reminds me often.
He asked for a spider cake this year. He agreed to a cute spider, but I think he wanted a scary one, so I made both. We call it "Sweet VS. Scary spider!"
Opening his gifts! I think he's going to have a lot of fun with his new Ripstick!
And lest we forget....he is only 11. He had a little meltdown when we said he had to quit playing with his new toy and go to bed....so he sat down....in the baby stroller...and cried. Hey--we all do it sometimes!
And he cried with his Doc McStuffins fish....Don't ask-- it's a long silly story about why an 11 year old got a Doc McStuffins stuffed fish for his birthday.
Happy Birthday Andrew! Another great year for the record books! We love having you as part of our family!