We gave you nicknames - Earnest (because you had a serious, earnest face) and Nicholas Pickolas Pumpernicholas (because it was fun). You loved playing outside and maps and memorizing little seemingly useless tidbits of information...just like your daddy. Your ability to know an Ankylosaurus from an Archaeopteryx and a Utahraptor from a Velociraptor at the age of four was stunning. And your ability to draw for hours on end amazed this new, green mama.
Time went by and you were suddenly the oldest of three. And we expected you to do more than you could. We were new at this, and a little overwhelmed, and you were our guinea pig. We've apologized for that before, and probably will again.
But you handled it well, maturing and growing into a strong and helpful boy.
And a funny boy.
A very funny boy.
We hit milestones - diapers came off, teeth fell out, stitches went in. And you took it all in stride. The stalwart first-born. You were a neat freak (still are) and a stickler for being on time (still are) and a sweet, deep-thinking little guy (yep, that too).
We moved often and you were a flexible helper. Really. A big helper in a little body. You loved donuts, peanut butter and jelly and making up stories.
You became good friends with your little sisters and seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with them, playing in our big back yard. You would work so hard raking the endless, crisp fall leaves into piles so that you could all jump in them.
Now that we have moved far away from your lifelong friends, you keep in touch with letters and phone calls. What a special thing. What a special boy. But you're not really a boy any more. You're a boy-man, on the cusp of something new and different. One foot in the child's life, one looking forward to what the Lord would have for you.We love you, Nicholas. You have been a light in our lives, shining the love of God on us. Our prayer for you as you enter this pre-man state, is that God would grow you into a Truth-loving, God-exalting, servant-hearted man.
Welcome to thirteen.
Love you most.