Dear Danny,

As I sit down to write this, it is hard to know where to begin.  I feel like the words I could use to describe you are almost limitless.  You are fierce, smart, loving, talented, sensitive, and feisty.  And now, you are 8 years old.

You are my goofy little guy, and 'little guy' is one of the most common terms of endearment we use for you.  I'm also fond of little dude.  Your body is still small, but your personality and your spirit have always been bigger than that body can contain.  Your smile is contagious, and once you warm up to people (it usually takes about 20-30 minutes), you are friendly and talkative.  When you were little, I used to take you to the mall and we would walk around, and it was such a joy because everyone who saw you caught your smile.

You are curious about the world, and you want to try everything.  Except pizza bubbles.  The other day you screamed because your slice had a crust bubble and insisted on removing it from youor plate before eating the rest.  Sometimes at night when you're not wound down enough to fall asleep yet, you just ask questions, most of which I don't know the answers to and some of which I do.  What is a nebula?  How old is the universe?  Why don't we dump our trash into volcanoes?  When was the sun made?  What killed the dinosaurs?  What if screens had never been invented?  Why hasn't there ever been a woman President?  When is Trump going to get arrested?  Why are there so many questions in life?

8 years later, you are still connected to me at the hip.  I don't remember it well, but when you were a baby, you used to refuse to sleep unless I was holding you.  Now, 4 feet tall,  you still scramble up into my lap on a daily basis for cuddles.

It's been just over a year since you started taking piano lessons, and gosh, you amaze us all.  You have picked it up so well.  You go to lessons twice a week for 30 minutes now, and this spring you have done the Washington State Music Teacher Adjudications where you played some memorized pieces for a visiting professor level musician, and Guild Auditions, and got glowing feedback from both.  Your spring awards recital is coming up in about a month, and I can't wait to see how far you've come since last year.  You look so serious, but also seriously cute, in your little black suit.  We're at the point now where you need a real piano so we're looking into getting some movers to come and bring the piano down from Grandma's house to our house for you to practice on.

You have also started taking art classes once a week after school, and you're always looking for blank paper to write or draw on.  Scott and I got you some Fimo clay for your birthday, and I'm sure you'll find something amazing to do with it.

You are reading A Wrinkle in Time, which is advanced for your age and slow going, but you saw the movie with Grandma Edie and really wanted it.  You spend a lot of computer time doing coding projects on Scratch.  You absorb things like a sponge, and it seems like you are capable of doing anything you put your mind to, and you put your mind to so many thing!  I recently took up cross-stitch, and you wanted to try it too so you've been working on your very own little fox in a 3" hoop.

You still get frustrated sometimes when you can't do something perfectly or exactly how you imagine it in your head, but it's gotten less so as you have gotten older.  I can't imagine where you will be in 5 years, 10 years.  I am eager and curious to see where you'll end up focusing your mind.

In October, we were able to move out of Grandma's house and into a little blue house down the street from her.  You have your own room for the first time in a long time, and now we have a little family, me, you, Scott, and Danny.  Scott has been the most amazing addition to our family, he takes you both to school and picks you up afterwards.  We have settled in pretty nicely, and on the weekends you go see Emily and Megan and have a great time there too.  We have a regular schedule and a rhythm and in the past year we have worked really hard to have more boundaries and structure for you and your brother.  It is so hard for me to say no to you guys or enforce things, even 12 years in, partly because things were so crazy and unstable for so long, and it was just the three of us.  Scott has been a huge help and support for me, and it has been sweet and wonderful and heart-filling to watch you both develop your own relationships with him.

The first 5 months of 2018 have gone by SO fast.  I feel like I blink and suddenly a month has gone by.  I'm a little worried that now that we aren't struggling as much that time will just fly by, and I'll look up and you'll suddenly be a grown up.  I have been feeling very nostalgic about both of your babyhoods recently, and it's just so hard to believe that you were once so small.

Parenting is hard.  There are struggles - I guess the biggest ones right now are trying to get you to sleep through the night and dealing with some physical things you've got going on.  But, we are slowly making progress on both fronts, and even though sometimes I feel like I'm failing, I think that you and Sam are mostly turning into good people.  Having Scott around has been really great, and having Megan around at Emily's just means more adults who care for you and teach you how to be a good human.

I love you so much.


PS You just told me when you grow up you want a Lamborghini Egoista! 

Firsts This Year!

First Live Event of Note:  Dan TDM Meet & Greet and Stage Show at the Paramount Theater


Favorite Book:  The Zack Files
Favorite Song:  Remember Me from Coco
Favorite Board Game:  The Game of Life
Favorite Video Game:  Roblox 
Favorite TV Show: Raising Hope
Favorite YouTubers:  Real Life Lore
Favorite Food:  Pizza
Favorite Dessert: Ice Cream
Favorite Thing to Do Outside the House: Woods Coffee, Rocket Donuts, Spark Museum, Riding your bike
Favorite Subject at School: PE
Best Friends:  CJ, Parker, Parker, Caden, Tucker, AJ, Kobi

Birth Story.