This is the 10th in an annual series of letters written to my son, Campbell, who turned 10 in December 2021 - you can find the previous letters at the bottom...
While I usually write it on his birthday, I didn't get the time to devote to it this year like normal, but I wanted to knock it out before the year officially ended.
First of all, kid, what right do you have being ten years old? How did that even happen? How on earth has it been ten solid years since you came to us via Mommy's tummy and God's divine hand?
Your love for trains did not diminish, as
evidenced by the 3000 Thomas and Lego Duplo
trains we have, and that stop all the world
if we are around tracks when a train goes by
If you remember, you were actually supposed to be born two weeks later -- I think December 17th was your expected date -- but you decide to come a wee bit early... your mom had just gone to the hospital for a check up and the doctor said, "Hey Steph, you are having a baby tonight or tomorrow." And there went the rest of our lives, huh.
Second of all, this year has been... well, I'd say insane but that's typical for our little family. Full of stress, joy, faith and much, much more.
Usually I fill this note with recaps from the past year, starting with any pop culture things you picked up on... well, without going down that road too much, I can say this is the year you picked up on Top 40 radio. Okay, so remember when Mom had the grey car, the Honda, and I had the red car? And you rode with me to all of your stuff in the red car? Mom got a new white car, a Toyota SUV, so this is what you wanted to ride in all the time. Unfortunately, I had satellite radio in my red car, but Mom did not in the white car, nor did she have a CD player, so we listened to Magic 96.5, Mix 97.3, and (sadly enough) 103.7 The Q.
And you became a huge fan of Maroon 5, The Wkend, Pink, Lewis Capaldi, Adele, and especially Dua Lipa. As the songs caught on, you just listened, learned, and sang -- and you know their other songs too. When Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" comes on, you yell "ROAR!" and when The Wkend's "Blinding Lights" played, you holler "Save... Yo.. Tears for another day..." You spent the first half of the year obsessed with "Blinding Lights", and the back half of this year all about up Dua Lipa.
Taken at Ady's Racers in December...
you had a huge grin because it was
a pretty amazing day
If "Break My Heart" is on, you want "Levitating." If that one is on, you yell 'BREAK MY HEART!" And at bedtime for at least the back half of this year, you ask to hear both of those songs, and if there is time, "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele. And you love "Easy on Me", but I'll be honest with you, I can only handle hearing that one the 38 times they play it per day.
Of course, it can backfire a bit... we have to watch constantly what is on, as the song title and artist displays on the screen, and I'm not a fan of Doja Cat, whoever the heck that is, and I don't want you walking around saying "Oh My God" (the Adele song) or "[D-Word] It Feels Good to Be Me" (Ed Sheeran). It's bad enough you like to quote Justin Timberlake, saying "Rocka My Body".
I'm so happy you love music so much. You are doing awesome with piano -- Ms Alaina loves having you. You do gymnastics now, and you are doing so super good at the vault -- you love just running and hurling your body at a soft mat, which is terrifying to watch, but also fun to watch you come up smiling at a maneuver well done.
We spend much of the summer at Alabama Splash Adventure - and you finally hit all the slides (except for the free fall slide, which is pretty much a plummet straight down -- you can't do that one right now because you sat up on it and thats bad news). We spend 3-5 afternoons per week at Next Levl, to the point where they all know by name and give you high fives. We hit any combo of Whole Foods, Publix, Target, and Wal-Mart 3 or 4 times per week, and you love them all. Sprouts too, but the buggies are smaller and you have to walk with me -- and you can be a handful sometimes, champ.
A lot happened this year in our world around us. It struck me and your mother both how perceptive you probably are right now at everything, and while we don't talk a lot of news around you, you undoubtedly have picked things up along the way. Joe Biden is our president. This note isn't to tell you what you should or shouldn't think based on what we believe -- but as you read this, whatever age you might be, I hope that you have learned from both of us that facts are important. Look at both sides. Then figure out what you believe, and then ask yourself why.
And sometimes you bust through and say whats on your mind. Back in May, with Ms Lanae, she asked you the questions and you answered. You told her that you needed more Jesus in your life. You told her that your super power was C-A-R-I-N-G. You said your mom was cool... and your dad too. You said you loved school. When asked if a boy or a girl would be better at something like engineering, you said "does it matter?"
Along the way in those specific sessions, this also happened -- I'll just pull from the Facebook post I wrote on May 7, 2021... Steph and I have been saying for years that he has a lot to say, he just isn't sure how to say it. This week, I've watched him speak. I've heard what he's had to say. And I'm over the moon hearing his thoughts. Simple, some sorta philosophical, some random, some just black and white.