When your birthday rolls around, it always seems like an impossibility.
Impossible that another year has swept on by.
Impossible that we have a child as old as you are.
Impossible that you've grown in all the ways a child can grow, but most notably that you are depending on yourself a little more and needing us slightly less.
You, my booboo, are a great kid. Honestly, you really are and we are so proud and grateful to be your family.
This past year has been a big one for you; you played on your first real team (tball last spring) and since have played on a soccer team and are now playing with the seven and eight year olds on your machine pitch baseball team. You started Kindergarten in the fall, learned to swim with no floaties, and can ride a bike without training wheels. You rode your first 'real big kid' amusement park ride this summer and just this week, requested an alarm clock to wake up for school in the morning on your own.
Six for you, Booboo, means stretching across the extremes. It means going fast; rollerblading, riding your scooter, bike, and quad at speeds that make your poor mumma squeeze her fist, but bite her tongue. I have watched with a weary heart so you can test your limits and figure out what feels right for you and your courage to try something new. It also means going slow; chasing your baby sister, slow dancing with Gemma when she asks, and sounding out words to read.
You are incredibly wild and strong, it seems (as it always has) to be a thing that needs to get out of you, like destruction that needs to be released from your soul. You run, jump, climb, tackle, throw, catch, dig, punch, kick, and stomp. When you play it is tiring to simply watch, let alone be enlisted as a participant. We regularly hear from other people, 'boy, can't wear that kid out,' and we nod in full understanding. This is why every few months, you have a full body shutdown in which your body calls a strike and you sleep for almost 24hours straight.
But you are also gentle and patient and surprise me regularly with how you control that urge to be wild so you can take care of others. Your teacher has told us each time we've seen her this year, 'I'd take twenty Greysons any day - he is a friend to everyone.' You make us feel special by asking us how we feel and how our days are going and how you can be helpful. Your knee jerk response tends to be kindness and for that we are the most proud of you.
You make us laugh with your silly goofiness. You like having inside jokes with each of us, and being the leader of any activity, and having us watch you do things. You like to be part of 'the group' and try to be adaptable to fit in whatever the group looks like at the moment. When the group is younger, you try to teach and play gently - when the group is older, I watch you toughen up and try to learn what it means to be 'cool.'
We have always felt blessed that you are our first; the one that is heralding in the next age and stage through parenthood. You have always seemed to graciously ease us into the next phase and we are so grateful to you for this. We're learning and growing right along with you, Grey, and your patience and kindness is a beacon to our whole family. Greyson Rudy Studer, you are a gift to so many people, but no one more so than us.
I love you forever, my booboo
even when you keep getting so big.