Mr. B, God's special gift to me, turns nine at exactly 11:59 tonight. That funny time sort of sums up the particular kind of kid he is. In honor of my middle son, nine reasons why he's special to me:
1. Perfectionist. He'll always erase and do things over again, no quick fixes, no halfway job for this kid. His handwriting is neat, his math precise, he's a stickler for accuracy and having things just so. He's also a procrastinator, a deadly combination sometimes, but I appreciate his zeal for details.
2. Big-hearted. There's a reason he's beloved by everyone he meets--he treats everyone with kindness and thoughtfulness. Whoever you are, he'll give you the same big smile and remember your name. He'll even remember details about you--if you like pancakes or went to the Dells last weekend or enjoy movies about horses. His circle of friends is always widening.
3. Sloppy. He can't help it, he's a slob at heart. I can follow his tracks by the trail of clothes, granola bar wrappers, sports equipment and toys left in his wake throughout the day. He's the one who can't get dirty socks into the laundry basket and loses his baseball mitt. I like to attribute this to his zeal for life, he's too busy going on to the next big thing to pick up after himself (yet).
4. Diligent. This is my son who will practice until he gets things right. If his teacher tells him to fix his handwriting, she tells him once and he'll always write correctly. If his coach tells him to scoop up the ball, he'll consistently scoop. If Mr. O tells him not to hop during a sword form, that kid will hit the mark steady and strong each time. He listens, he's coachable, he practices and he constantly improves.
5. Funny. I had the hardest time yelling at him when he was little because he'd giggle and laugh all the time, never taking things too seriously. His good nature infects entire rooms full of people. He smiles with his whole face, he tells a good joke, he sees the humor in almost every situation.
6. Passionate. Mr. B's got specific interests: sharks, space, baseball, basketball, the Packers, video games and building stuff. He reads almost exclusively nonfiction. He can tell you a million details about ocean life but never tire of asking questions so he can learn more. His curiosity, once he's keen on a subject, is insatiable.
7. Dapper. The kid is a dandy--since he could dress himself, he's done so with flair and pizazz. He accessorizes with hats, gloves, jewelry--certainly not a trait he picked up from his fashion-flawed parents, Mr. B has style.
8. Creative. Whether wielding magic markers or Legos, his imagination knows no bounds. Each thing he draws/builds/creates comes with a back story. He won't just design a castle--his castle will have water slides, secret passageways, canons built into fireplaces and automatic lasers. He imagines a lot, keeping pace with his two creative brothers, injecting his spin on their games and fun. And like the rest of his family, Mr. B thinks outside of the box, which is the best place to find new ideas.
9. Adaptable. Probably because he's in the middle, but Mr. B gets along with everybody. He'll play Bey Blades with Mr. G, play Little People with our little neighbor gal, carry on conversations with kids twice his age at karate and hang in with his older brother. He can be sophisticated or silly, quiet or loud, depending on the situation. Both brothers seem a little at loose ends when he's gone, he's that flexible piece that bridges the gap between people.
Happy Birthday, Mr. B. I love you more than cookies and books.