Greyson Booboo, eight years old.

Friday, May 25, 2018

my Greyson Rudy Booboo,

Gosh, it never fails that your birthday startles me. Eight seems like officially a big kid. Eight years old feels like a big kid too - you can do almost everything by yourself (clean the hamster cage, shower, pack an overnight bag, fish, read your own homework directions, wake up and get ready for school). But there is still the little glimmers of our Booboo left on you - when you ask to be tucked in (three blankets in a specific order, hah) or when you are really tired (early in the morning or after long practices and games) where you lean into us for an extra minute and sigh while we nuzzle your thick hair.

You are a good big brother but get extreme enjoyment out of teasing your younger siblings, especially Gemma. You try to make up all the rules when you play with Gem, you scare Violet around the corners of the house, and you play fight with Rusty until he gets so angry he bites. But then when no one is looking, you check in with Gemma's teacher to make sure she's on the bus, you read to Violet, and you hold Rusty's hand while you walk into the house from the yard. You are tough and sweet with them, which I guess is really what they all need to grow themselves. 

You still love sports and we have sports balls of all kinds littering our home. I can get you excited for a few hours about science experiments or lego building or drawing comics, but then you lose interest and go back to jumping, tackling, throwing, catching, and dribbling. You are an athlete to the core and as I've said a hundred times before and will continue forever saying, it will be a great challenge for Dad and I to remind you that being a great athlete is not the best thing about you, sweetheart. 

Even more than sports though, you love fishing. You are a fishing fanatic and it is amazing to watch how your body and mind relax when you get a rod in your hand or you sit down to tie some flies. You even opened your own etsy shop this year of your fishing flies and you had some amazing incredible friends support you and cheer for you while you try something new. You remember, babe, how that felt for a grown up and some of your friends to ask to buy your creations - how incredible it feels to be on the receiving end of an encouraging voice. You have the power to be an encouraging voice to others too, baby, so please be. 

You love sleeping on the couch (you sleep there every single weekend night and I imagine you'll sleep there all summer long). You love Imagine Dragons (especially Believer) and Sir Mixalot's Big Butts song (which you tell Alexa to play on repeat at home and then get in actual trouble because once is enough a day, dude). You learned to floss (dance) and hate to floss (hygiene) or any other hygiene areas - brushing teeth, showers, fixing your hair, but boy do you love to change your clothes about four times a day and you leave your dirty laundry strewn all over the floor and your dresser drawers hanging open no matter how many times I nag you about it. 

You remind me of that illustration in Love you Forever of the boy at this age (the son is nine at the time of the story, but no matter). You are exactly like that boy in that photo. Sometimes YOUR mother wants to sell YOU to the zoo! 

Love you Forever by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw

You can eat two double cheeseburgers in one sitting and you love Burger King fries with their bbq sauce (it's weird how many BK bbq sauce containers we have stored in our fridge, dude). You can read comfortably now (albeit reluctantly), and have terrible grammar & spelling - like the worst I've ever seen - but we're working on slowing down and using resources to clean it up. You got an Xbox for Christmas and then turned right around have been banned from it for the last two marking periods for C's in Language Arts on your report card (ahem, the grammar & spelling). You learned to use the oven this year (so many egg & sausage casseroles! Remember the time you put too much salt on and then Dad's face!), you hate any and all chores and you do your best into manipulating Gemma into doing them for you, and you'd play catch in the yard for 24 hours if you had someone to play with.

photo cred: Jenn Valentine

Grey - I am always looking for kindness, I seek it out like water in the dessert because, my Booboo, this world can be a lonely and dark place but if you are intentional about seeing little bursts of kindness and good in the world, it will steel your soul and heart and keep you grounded in gratitude.

So the other week after your baseball game, your whole team went running to the outfield for your post-game chat. After the final team hands-in cheer, all the players went running like mad for their equipment to go get in line for ice cream at the concession stand. Only two players hung back - the catcher who was trying to pick up all his pads that he had just taken off and one teammate who was helping him carry it all. I smiled and I thought, I'm going to point this moment out to Grey - let him know what a nice thing for his teammate to stay with the catcher to help him - hopefully to inspire you to be helpful the next time. 

And when the catcher and his teammate had collected all the stuff, they stood up together to walk to the dugout and I could finally see the player was #8... it was you. 

What a ground shift experience that was for me to realize you have grown into the kid that I want to use as an example. How proud that makes me, I cannot adequately write, but also how terrifying to know that although we will still (always) try to guide you - you're old enough and in your own world and life enough that we mostly have to just watch to see if you can fly on your own. 

And my booboo, you seem to be soaring just fine. 

we are so proud of you buddy.
As I write every year,
this is my annual apology for being so hard on you,
but also my annual thank you for being so gracious with us
as Dad and I try to figure this all out
and this year, it's also a kiss and a hug to you, buddy,
while I can see you're trying to figure this all out too.
learning how to be officially a big kid
and trying to sort out which kind of big kids you want to be like
and sorting out how you can still be like you too
figuring out where 'cool' and decent blend
(oh darling, that is a struggle for all of us)

i love you, booboo.
forever, even when it's hard
even when you're bigger than me
even when we both feel mad and misunderstood
even while we're both trying to figure it all out
i will love you.


  1. What a beautiful soul you are raising.
    And OH! How I wish we lived near each other because he sounds like the twins' long lost triplet! They, too, were born with sports in their eyes! I was dying reading about how he loves to floss (dance) but hates to floss (teeth). Hahaha! My boys too! They even like the same music!
    What a beautiful love letter to your boy.
    Time is just flying by and they're all getting too big too fast!!!

  2. He sounds so much like my 8-year-old boy, who also loves fishing and baseball and flossing, and is seemingly morphing into a BIG kid right before my very eyes. Like he's about 2 shoe sizes away from wearing bigger ones than me (!) and like Grey, he is craving his independence and still sneaking in the hugs. It's a fun but hard time, isn't it, Mama?