Happy Birthday, Handsome Boy!! Can it really be seven years since you stole my heart as I cuddled you in my arms for the first time? Surely not. But then again, I can hardly remember a time when you weren't by my side. Time is a funny thing...
I marvel at how you continue to grow, Johnny. You are such a delight to me, and such a massive pain when you decide to be! Honestly, it only adds to your charm. You're like your Dad that way. ;) Everyone that knows you loves you. That's probably one of the things I've noticed most about you during this year. I worried about how you would do socially once you got into kindergarten. Turns out, every single ounce of my worry was majorly unfounded. You quickly became the epicenter of all things social in your class. You assembled a group of friends and orchestrated the games. And you even managed to balance all of that with the girls chasing you during every single recess. I imagine that is a burden you'll just have to bear for many years to come. ;) It makes me so happy to see you playing with your friends, just being a boy and doing all the rough-housing that boys do.
As we anticipated, kindergarten was a breeze for you. Mrs. Fleming told us over and over again that she had never had a kinder test so high! But you still enjoyed every single day at school, and your reading, writing, and math improved significantly by the end of the year. You enjoy Spanish, and now that you've started 1st grade you'll be learning that in earnest. You have already reunited with old friends, and even made some new friends in 1st grade. You love being there all day, and we all expect you'll have another fantastic year. You love to learn, and you deeply desire to be an exceptional student. Which always makes you a favorite with your teachers. :)
You've taken quite a shine to science and technology lately. You've said over and over again that you want to be a scientist when you grow up. You even grew your own crystals and made plans for your very own science fair. You only check out science books at the library, and you seem to be particularly interested in rocks and animals. You are always reasoning out why things work, and even if you're completely wrong your deductive reasoning is always solid. I'm so excited to see where that great mind of yours takes you.
Johnny, you are a natural athlete. We finally got you signed up for soccer this last year, and you were the biggest kid on the field...and one of the best players. You loved playing your first season during the spring, and you're even more excited about playing this fall. And you're a hiking machine! I keep telling you that your spirit beast must be a mountain goat. ;) You almost always set our pace, and you keep me marching behind you. You still love football, and at times you're very interested in playing. At other times you're terrified of getting hurt. We'll see what side of the fence you end up on as the years go by.
You still have such a love for the gospel, Johnny. You are like a sponge, and you soak up all the stories and principles being taught. You read the Book of Mormon easily, and hardly ever need help anymore. And you always seem to know what's going on by the first few verses, right down to the characters and places. I find that to be rather impressive, since I still have a hard time keeping it all straight! You are still exemplary in Primary, and always happy to give a talk or scripture. We went to the MTC open house, and you talked a lot about how excited you are to serve your mission. You've already decided that is what you're going to do, and it couldn't be happier. I can see and sense the mighty spirit you are, John. I know our Heavenly Father needs you for a great work here on earth, building His kingdom and preparing for our Savior. I couldn't be more proud to be your mother, and I only hope I'm doing all that is required of me to help you become the man you are meant to be.
We love having you in our family, and we wouldn't be complete without you. You still pester your sisters quite a bit, but I know you have a good friendship and relationship with them. I don't worry about you all being friends as you enter your teenage years and beyond. And you are Joey's whole world. He just lights up when you play on the tramp with him, or get on the floor and wrestle. I know you will always have a very special relationship with him, and I'm grateful that Joey has such a good example in you to follow. And trust me, he's going to follow every single one of your footsteps as soon as he's able to keep up! You still miss Luke a lot, and you talk of him often. You sense more than the girls do that he's missing. I look forward to you telling me about how your relationship with Lukey continues to grow despite the separation. Because I am confident that it will.
Your relationship with your Dad has really grown over the past year. You seem to hunger for time with him more than you used to. You love to play Xbox with him, or board games, or anything you can get him to play with you! You love sharing BYU football, hiking, and working in the yard with him. But even with how much more you need your Dad, you don't seem to need me any less...and I like that. You are still my boy, and my little buddy. I am going to miss you during this school year! I've gotten so used to having you with me in the afternoons.
Johnny, thank you for letting me be your Mom! I love you to pieces, and I'm so grateful that we're friends. I hope you feel how much you are needed in our family, and how much we all adore you. Even Sophie and Claire. ;) I can't wait to see all the amazing things that await you this year. Happy Birthday, John Boy!!