I just left your room after telling you goodnight for the last time as a 10 year old. I kissed you on the top of your head and turned to leave. You asked for a hug. I wish I knew how long these days would last. The ones where you want to hug and kiss us. The ones where you want to tell us all of your hopes and dreams. You're our first kid so every new phase is new to all of us. We take things as they come as opposed to actually being prepared for them. You've been a great kid to help us figure it all out. You're so patient when we make mistakes. You ask questions we have never thought to ask.
This past year was a benchmark for you academically. You set records at your school. You finished elementary school with all A's for all of your years there. You read 7 million words and finished the year as the student who read the most words in the entire school. You received the President's Award and so many other awards. (I still haven't blogged about your awards day but it is coming...slow blogger over here!!!) But, the thing that was so special about that day were the kind words said about you. Truthfully, awards don't matter much if you aren't kind. People forget the awards you won but they will always remember how they were treated. You are genuinely so kind to people. I hope that stays with you as you navigate the tricky Middle School days ahead.
Speaking of Middle School, that is right upon us. This time next month we will be thick in the middle of all of it. There are so many unknowns. I pray a lot about all that these next few weeks entail. I'm so worried and you are so excited. I've tried to let that rub off on me and send you out the door with the same level of excitement that you have about middle school. I know you'll do great. I just know this new transition means you are one step closer to life outside our home. The years you have to live at home with us are now shorter than what is behind.
Earlier this year, you made the decision to follow Jesus. You were so sure of that decision and then the decision to be baptized. It has been a joy to watch your faith grow and your heart desire to know Him more. In just a couple of weeks, you will transition from children's ministry into our student ministry. I know these are the years that will lay a foundation that will last your entire life. I already pray that God would give you solid mentors who love Him and Godly friends to walk through these teen years alongside of you. You will always have your parents but I know firsthand the impact Godly influences can have on a teenager.
You're a really great kid, Jonah. I know we tell you that all of the time but it's true. You make good choices, you are honest, you work hard and you constantly seek knowledge and wisdom. You stand up for what is right and you are consistent. There was a time this season in soccer that your dad said to me, "ya know, Jonah will never be the super star on the field but he will ALWAYS be the kid coaches want because he shows up, he gives 100%, his attitude is positive and he is always where he is supposed to be!" Those are qualities that you don't even know how amazing it is that you possess them.
I wanted to be a mom so bad. I begged God to let me have a baby. He answered that prayer and not only did I get a baby, I got an amazing kid. Being your mom is one of my favorite jobs. Happy Birthday, sweet Jonahbug. I celebrate all the wonderful ways this world is better because you are in it.