Oh Ezra, my little-big boy, I can't even believe you're a big 8 years old. Eight, Ezra! Eight! You're smack in the middle between big and little. You're almost on the downhill slide of childhood. It won't be long before you'll be an even bigger kid, then teenager, then an adult. For the moment, though, I'm still going to hug your little body, breathe your dirty, sweaty little boy smell in deep, and just be glad you still give me a kiss and a hug before bed.
Ezra, you are ridiculously smart. I'm sure this comes as no shock to you; heaven knows you don't lack any in confidence. You spout facts like a fountain. Sharks, lizards, natural disasters, finance, minerals and rocks...your lust for knowledge knows no boundaries. Cobras and komodo dragons are your current favorite animals. Your second grade teacher, Mrs. Chiles, absolutely adores you. I had a parent-teacher conference with her last week and she couldn't stop talking about how you're such a wonderful student. It warms my mama heart right up to hear other people gush about you. I often joke that some of your aspie traits that make my life harder, make your teachers' lives easier. I always knew you would thrive in such a structured, learning-oriented setting.
The older you get, the more you settle into your older brother role. I know dealing with the insanity of younger siblings isn't something that comes naturally to you...but every year you get a little bit better at it. You have a soft spot for babies in particular (especially if they're too young to wreck your legos ;) You don't always pay enough attention to the world around you to hear when Fischer is crying, but when you do notice or I ask you to, you're always willing to stop what you're doing and hold Fisch for a while. You're actually really good at settling him down too, bouncing him and holding him just right. I love to see that side of you come out. Oh goodness, how your sisters drive you crazy. You even claim you don't like 'em all that much all too often. I know you love them, though. They're just so much a part of you that you take them for granted, like an arm or an ear. Remember to take care of them and be nice to them Ezra. You'll miss them when they're no longer there to drive you crazy every second of the day.
Oh Ezzie-boy, you know no fear. You climb every tree and hike every mountain you find. We'll be hiking and all of the sudden you'll leave the trail and go climb up the face of a mountain by yourself. It drives me crazy, scares me to death, and even makes me a little bit proud. I've even had random by-standers comment on your natural ability and courage. Whenever we're in Utah, your Uncle Eric (who you absolutely adore) makes it a point to follow you around and keep you out of trouble, since your confidence is a lot higher than your skill-level. Heaven knows someone has to. crazy boy.
Your best friend is Liam, who lives right up the road from us. You guys spend most afternoons and Saturdays attached at the hip. I love it. I love that you have someone that so fully accepts you with your endless quirks and sees you for the loyal friend that you are. He puts up with you when you throw a fit over silly things or tune him out while watching Popular Mechanics for Kids (your movie du jour). Every boy needs a bestie like that.
Oh Ezra, my Ezra, how I love you so. You were the baby that made a mama. You were a hard baby and a hard toddler and a hard preschooler. You definitely pushed me into the deep end of the mommyhood pool. You know what, though? I feel like I'm reaping some of the rewards from those hard years. The independence that made you such a ridiculously difficult 3 year old makes you a helpful and self-sufficient 8 year old. You make me so happy, Ez. Everyday, you make me happy. I love you, my first baby, so darn much.
Happy 8th Birthday Ezra Emil!