Greyson Rudy, nine years old

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

My booboo,
Nine years old.
it's the last year of single digits for our biggest kid.
When will I ever understand how time works?

You are clever and inventive and when an idea strikes in your head, there is nothing that can stop you from testing it out (a scientist's mind!) You feel 'meh' about school but like getting two lunches and recess most of all. Not far behind in school though is science, steam, and Mrs. Wenger's read aloud chapter books. Spelling is the opposite of your strong suit and you have me daily shaking my head at your full on phonetic spelling of all the words (you spelled it "jinjher ail" on our grocery list the other day--two points to you, readers,if you can figure that out).

You are obsessed with Dragons (like from the How to Train your Dragon movies/series), and you read the entire series of The Last Fire Hawk except the final one that didn't get released yet. Your favorite color is still red and you wear those nicer than sweatpants-sweatpants to school every day (cat&jack brand) with usually a CT shirt/jersey. 

You are thoughtful and curious and downright goofy most of the time. You are either super duper dee duper besties with Gemma or you want to strangle her (seriously no inbetween). Violet is your little buddy and you two can carry on like bandits for hours. No one makes you laugh more than RustMan because he will do anything you tell him to and he tries to copy everything you do otherwise. He thinks you're the coolest dude on the planet and you think he is the most hilarious little gremlin that can get away with all the things you wish you could. Oh, Grey, you keep us all laughing and moving - that's for sure. 

You are an athlete, little man. Through and through and if you had your way, you'd have a ball in your hands and sneakers on your feet every moment of the day. This year you played tackle minors football (quarterback and safety), basketball for two different leagues (point guard), and baseball (shortstop and pitcher). You also play soccer with your buddies while you wait around for your sisters practices and games (you can do the rainbow flick), you're a master at four square, and you skate around our garage on rollerblades playing hockey. You learned to snowboard this year and you were able to go down with no frustrations by the end of the afternoon (begging to go down one more slope please!)

When it comes to techniques and rules and learning the games - you are dialed in on focus. You ask questions about plays and watch clips of best slides or the little league world series on youtube. You want to know everything about the game and how the best play it (although, unlike many of your classmates, you don't care too much about who is playing. You know the big time famous players for the different sports - but you actually seem pretty uninterested in knowing names, numbers, or stats like a lot of your friends do).  You'd rather be playing than watching in every single instance. If the game is happening, you want to be in; you want the win/loss on your own shoulders. If I said it once, it's been a (literal) thousand times, I will spend my life trying to help you remember that being a great athlete is only one tiny part of what makes you You. There's so many great things about you, being great at sports is just the one everyone talks the loudest about, babe.

Nine is proving to be a bit of a challenge for us all, Grey. You are ready to do bigger kid things and we are still trying to help you understand that kids that are trustworthy and dependable get to do big kid things. You are still working on some kinks and inconsistencies there because there's still a lot of things you'd like to not be responsible for (like chores, and studying, and listening the first time you're told). I know it seems like Dad and I are always giving you a hard time but we can't help but look at you and all your incredible potential and feel the need to shake (or yell) it out of you. 

Dude, this line of figuring out how to transition smoothly from little kid to bigger kid is tough for us too. We are just going to have to keep working on it together, because (not a newsflash) we've never done this with another kid yet - you're the first so every new age is new to us too. We'll get there but it's going to be a tug of war (probably forever, sorry- man #firstkidproblems - I'm right there with ya!) If we're being honest though, we are grateful this figuring it out thing is with you; you get the best and the worst of us as parents with the first gauntlet run - and you can totally handle it and your siblings are so lucky to get the aftermath of what you help us learn. We need a tough, determined, bull-headed (occasional smart ass) to take the first at-bat. Well done, Booboo. 

You can do a lot of things by yourself now and we're slowly expanding that list as we see that you can be trusted with a wider world. You can make a complete breakfast including coffee for me and dad (your specialty is egg sausage casserole or egg breakfast burritos with buffalo ranch!) You can mow the flat parts of our lawn on the riding tractor, lighting a fire and burning our cardboard is one of your chores. You can do your own laundry (although you don't have to unless you're grounded), you own a pocket knife, can bait a hook, release a fish, whittle a spear, and have gone turkey, deer/rifle, and deer/archery hunting. 

Just this past few weeks of spring, we have expanded your bike circumference to include about a mile around our house. You have to wear a helmet and be back by certain times - which you have adhered to each time so far. You make plans with the kid down the street to meet at the neighborhood turn on your bikes and play in the weeds/woods there (you call it the 'point of extraction'). You are loving the freedom of this expanded world and I can see how its helping you to grow and mature. I have to let loose my grip on you so that you can start to unfurl those wings, my baby. Gosh, it's hard to do. 

The first time you hopped on the bike I spent the next thirty minutes having mini panic attacks: did he ride wide on that turn down there like a I told him? He's not bothering his friends' parents, is he? How much time has passed, is he late? And then you came back home, proud as ever to announce - "look, I made it with one minute to spare! We're going to meet again tomorrow." 

You told me about your little adventure and about all the neighbors that you met - and I got a glimpse into this new world of raising a bigger kid. These little peeks into your reality and the lessons you learn when you go out into the world and practice the things we tried to teach you (and make your own choices too and see how that does or doesn't work). For now, we can still set the parameters and put up the barriers at increasingly farther distances; but you're on your way, Booboo, and we are so proud to get to watch you grow up.

My booboo, 
I love you and I am proud of you every day. 
even when we're mad and annoyed by each other, 
it is rooted in love and so much pride
for who you are 
and who I know you are going to be some day.
such a good man. 
I am so grateful that you are my son. 
that you are my first child that is helping me figure this out too. 
we'll never get to the end of this tug of war
but I will forever be glad that I am playing it with you. 
my darling first baby. 
I will be loving you forever and ever
even when you're bigger than me
(almost already!)

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