I can't believe he's nine years old! It seems like just yesterday he was a tiny bundle cradled in my arms. He's not so tiny any more.
When Kev gets home tonight, we'll add a pencil mark to the wall where we've chronicled his growth. It's something we try to do every year around his birthday and "not back to school" time. He's tall and built like a swimmer, though he has chicken bone arms yet. He's got speed skater legs, and he still needs to move constantly.
He's a bouncy, goofy, ball of energy with big feet and a need for an audience. Sometimes I think he'll be doing stand up some day. He loves to laugh, and even better, get laughs. And yet, he talks like a forty year old professor, reads college level biology and zoology with complete understanding and even ends teaching me things I didn't know. His vocabulary is nearly equal to mine, and I'm a retired lawyer with a science background. He's maybe on grade level or a little advanced in math, if you mean arithmetic, but he's years ahead in higher, conceptual math. He loves to tell stories, and can spin a complex tale. And yet, he has the handwriting of a 3 year old. I am often his scribe. But suddenly, he loves to draw and paint and has filled a sketchbook. Mostly with dragons, microbes and lizards. He still wants to be a paleontologist (which is an obsession that has lasted 6 years now), or maybe a veterinarian or coleopterist (beetle scientist) or ornithologist. He loves birds, because they are living dinosaurs. He also loves to sing, though not yet as skillfully as his avian friends, but certainly as enthusiastically. I am so looking forward to his antics at Circle of Song at the Clearwater Festival.
He makes friends wherever he goes, with kids of any age and adults too. He has a strong sense of justice and wants the world to be fair. He does not understand bullying. He loves nature, and the water, and really *sees*. If he has a fault, it's his need to be the center of attention, to put on a show, and be appreciated for it. Which can get exhausting for his devoted parental fanbase... and is not always approved of by adults of the "seen but not heard" persuasion. If he's awake, you will hear him. He chatters nonstop. He's sweet and mushy and huggy and kissy, and I am blessed to call him my son.
Happy birthday, kiddo. You mean the world to me.