1. Your sense of humor is well-honed. The fact that it so closely matches mine only makes things better. We get each other. We play off of each other. We like to make each other laugh.
2. I love that you are a peacemaker. You are quick to apologize, even though I know sometimes you hate that it's almost always you that says "I'm sorry" first. You don't like discord. You never have. And even though you are quick to apologize and smooth things over, I know that you will not be a pushover, because you are stubborn--which can be a good thing if used well--but being a peacemaker is a great trait to have. And you have it in spades, my boy.
3. I love your smiling hazel eyes. I love how your eyes change color depending on what you are wearing and the mood you are in. I adore being able to see your smile in your eyes before I see it anywhere else on your face. Even as a baby with a pacifier in your mouth, we knew when you were smiling because it showed in your eyes. Those eyes are lady-killers and they have slain me.
4. You are passionate. When you love something, you love it all the way. When you were little, it was trains you were crazy over. Now it is football. You breathe it the way the rest of us breathe air. You love the Colts and root them on, but last year, you became devoted to the Steelers as well, and there is no swaying you.
I joke that it's your way of hedging your bets come Superbowl time. When you love something--trains, football, video games, Gary Paulson books, my burgers on the grill--you LOVE with your whole heart.
5. I love our shared love of books. I love that sometimes, we are sitting in the same room, contentedly reading and off in our own worlds. I love that when you are reading a new book, you want to tell me all about it. I love that when I am reading a new book, you want to hear all about it. I love seeing the light coming under your closed bedroom door and knowing that you are reading yourself to sleep.
6. You are driven. You work hard and you have high expectations for yourself. Your father and I have tried very hard to let you know that as long as you are doing your best, that is enough for us. I'm not sure it's enough for you. I know that you will succeed at whatever you put your mind to. I pray that you will grant yourself some leniency and allow yourself some room to know that your best doesn't have to be perfect.
7. I love your modesty. You are smart. You work hard. You play hard. You never boast about yourself. You are quick to give others credit and praise.
8. When we are in an unpleasant situation, when things aren't looking so great, you find ways to make the best of it. You encourage others. You find something funny to laugh about. You think of ways to help. You are a good guy to have around in those situations.
9. I love your squealy, crackly-voiced laugh when you are being tickled. And you are very ticklish. I love that you still let me tickle you and hear that laughter.
10. I love that you are the only one in the family that likes green beans. And I really love that you don't want fresh ones or cooked ones. You want them cold, out of a can. I try to keep a can in the pantry, because I never know when you'll request them. (Blecch!)
11. I am enjoying seeing the young man you are becoming. You are maturing in body, mind, and spirit and it is a delight to behold. I get full-body shivers when I catch a glimpse of the man you will be someday.
12. I love that you are my very own. Of all the children that God could have entrusted to my care, He gave me you. And for that I am blessed beyond measure.
Happy 12th birthday, son. You are my favorite James.
My apologies for the lateness of this post, but your birthday was full of football and friends and scaring your mother with the possibility of you having cracked your ribs. So this didn't get published in time. Instead, you are my Love Thursday post for the week and my 200th post. And since your ribs are fine and I have forgiven you for scaring me, I hope that you will forgive me. ;)
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