Zachary, age 9 months
Pete and I were putting the younger boys to bed last night when he looked up at me. "11 years ago tonight, we had nobody to put to bed."
Wow. That seems like a lifetime ago. And like it was yesterday. I am blown away by the fact that I have an eleven year old.
Eleven things about my 11 year old:
1. He is on the safety patrol at school and takes his job seriously. Pity the poor parent who doesn't pull all the way up in the drop off line! On a regular basis I hear from the adult leaders how Zachary is their most responsible and reliable kid.
2. He is serious in the classroom as well. Pete and I heard lots of great things from Zach's teacher at his conference this year. One of the things that stood out because it is so true to Zach's character, was her comfort at calling on him in class. She mentioned that so many of the boys at this age like to be silly and say things to get a laugh. Not Zach. She said she breathes a sigh of relief when Zach raises his hand because she knows she can count on him for a thoughtful and intelligent answer.
3. Despite the seriousness above, he has a great sense of humor! He can throw out zingers that surprise me because I don't expect them from an 11 year old.
4. He has a strong sense of his self. If his friends are doing things at recess that he doesn't feel comfortable with, he has no problems walking away. I hope he remains so true to his self as peer pressure intensifies.
5. He is quite the slob--messy bedroom, messy handwriting, messy everything. No one is perfect!
6. I am constantly surprised at how filthy he gets at school. I bite my tongue though because I know it means he is spending his recess running and playing sports with his friends.
7. He is a good and loyal friend, and picks good kids to be friends with. He stopped bringing peanut butter to school because he had a nut allergic friend. One night at a sleepover he put his ice cream back when he realized his friend couldn't have any. He sticks up for his friends.
8. He is a good big brother. One of the yard duty moms yesterday was telling me about an incident recently when Vinnie got hurt and was crying (which is a daily occurence, but that is another issue). As she was comforting him, 2 boys from different directions came running over to find out what happened. It was Zach and Joey. She said it was like they were watching over him from their areas of the playground. They may bicker at home, but they have each others' backs.
9. He is responsible and trustworthy. He comes home from school and goes straight up to do his homework. No nagging from us. If he says he finished, we can trust that he has. We can leave him home alone and know that he will follow the rules and do what he is supposed to. We can even leave him in charge of his brothers for (very) short periods of time.
10. He likes babies. It is striking to me, because most 11 year old boys don't pay a lot of attention to babies. Zachary is drawn to them (and not just his brothers) and will get down and talk to them, trying to make them smile. He talks about when he is a dad and has kids of his own.
11. He is the best 11 year old boy ever! Really!
Happy Birthday Zachary!!
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