Jokingly, I asked Bryce why he gets presents when it was me that did the hard work on the day he was born. He didn't have an answer for me but I told him that him letting me take his birthday photos was a great gift to me. As he gets older, these photo sessions are easier even as his distain for them grows. It is always a special time together laughing and capturing his personality & good looks intentionally each year.
In honor of my first baby turning seven, here are SEVEN things I love about Bryce.
1. His desire to always do the right thing. He is my rule follower (thank goodness I have at least one!) and his conscience is strong. Even as he's growing up and pushing boundaries a bit more, he always strives to do the right thing. And when he does make a wrong choice, his internal guilt and regret is often stronger than the consequence we have to impose on his. It isn't rare for him to start crying and become so upset at a wrong choice he made and he can't keep a bad choice to himself for too long. My hope is that this stays with him forever and that he can be a guide for others to follow.
2. His passion for baseball. If you know Bryce at all, you know his love for baseball. Playing baseball, watching baseball, reading about baseball, collecting baseball cards, drawing baseball pictures, tracing the MLB team logos. You name it and if it has to do with baseball, Bryce is there for it! When the weather is nice, he wants to be outside in the front yard or at the park practicing ground balls, pop ups and diving catches (his favorite). He works hard and is lucky enough to have a great coach at home - even if Bryce doesn't always like to listen to his Dad's advice it always sinks in eventually and he is improving more each day. My hope for him is that he becomes a leader on the field and works hard to be the best he can for as long as baseball is his passion.
3. His love for his dad. This boy right here loves his Dad! They bond over baseball (as mentioned above) and there has been more than one occasion where he will mention his dad when writing an assignment for school. And I will admit that I am a bit jealous of Dad sometimes when I read that Bryce is thankful for his Dad but fails to mention me. But I know how incredibly lucky he is to have such a great man to look up to and treasure their relationship. My hope is that Bryce and Scott's relationship will continue to grow and strengthen over the years and that Bryce always know that his Dad is there to help teach, guide and will always be there for him.
4. His mathematical abilities. A chip off the old block and not surprising since both of his parents have a mathematical brain as well. When asked what his favorite subject is at school (after lunch and recess of course! LOL) Bryce said that Math was his favorite. And when asked what he is best at (after he said baseball) he said Math as well. He excels at the Math skills he is learning at school and loves doing Math problem challenges. We can often be overheard in the car asking each other Math problems while driving along. One night while I was laying with him before bed he asked me what the X meant in Math and I told him it was multiplication and explained what it meant. Without missing a beat, he understood the concept and could answer simple multiplication facts. My hope is that he is proud of his abilities and learns how to apply the skills he is learning and doesn't learn to hate Math like so many kids do over time.
5. His squinty eyes when he smiles. If you can get him smiling FOR REAL there is a good chance that his eyes will squint and turn down just a smidge on the outside. He is so beautiful - even though he doesn't like me to use that word - even if I am biased just a tad. My hope is that he is always proud of himself and doesn't let anyone make him feel bad about himself for any reason - and especially not because of his outward appearance.
6. His goofiness. He won't show many people his goofy side unless he is very comfortable around them but once he lets you in, man, this kid is goofy! From walking silly, to the silly faces he gives, to the goofy things he says, he is genuinely happy and watching him is a joy. My hope is that he never loses that sense of childhood carefreeness and doesn't let others try to change who he is and has the confidence to be himself no matter what.
7. His artistic side. I still remember Bryce up until the age of 4 hated doing any type of art project - he hated getting messy and didn't like being creative. But something switched around the age of 4.5 and he LOVED drawing. He did it non-stop for about 2 years. This year he started to not do it as often and has started to love to trace photos that he finds and prints. If he isn't playing sports, wrestling with his brother or watching TV then you will most often find him drawing. He is so much better than he gives himself credit for and his perfectionism tends to frustrate him. My hope is that he isn't so hard on himself and that he continue to strengthen this skill and find passion in his art and appreciate the unique, awesome talents that he possesses.
Happy Birthday, Bryce! I love you so much!