I think you have had the best summer of your life.
Running in a pack of boys - sun up to sun down.
Day in and day out.
Nothing too organized.
No coaches or practices.
Just neighborhood fun.
Up early to get any chores done.
You know the deal.
Accomplish any chores.
Play the rest of the day.
On your bikes.
In and out of my house all day long.
Not a care in the world.
So incredibly busy.
Nonstop physical activity.
A few weeks ago, Dad and I watched you and your friends laying on the trampoline. Looking up at the sky - at the clouds. Just hanging out. Eating ice pops.
Dad said, "Now there you go. That's what I remember. Summertime. Like THAT."
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching you and your friends this summer.
Just living the 13 year old life.
I feel badly because there has been alot going on this summer.
Perhaps you felt unnoticed. While so much focus was on others.
I feel badly because I know when school starts - the disappointment that will follow.
You'll miss the freedom.
And the pack.
I will miss it too.
Because I know next summer it may not be back.
Well, not in the same way.
You'll be 14 and getting ready to go to high school.
I know what's coming next.
I've seen it twice before.
I know how it works now.
There are some things I wanted to say to you.
Sometimes when you are the "easy" one in the family -
You can feel like you are flying under the radar.
Seeing other family members who are struggling
Feeling they get all of the attention.
It must be frustrating for you.
Watching your older siblings suck up so much of our time and energy.
Don't think they are more important than you.
They are not.
Watching your younger sister...
Be the baby girl.
She's not more important than you.
I wanted you to know how appreciative I am of you.
Of the good decisions you make.
The trust that I have in you.
The way you make me laugh.
Being such a great brother, friend and son.
I'm really proud of you.
Your enthusiasm is contagious.
Your energy infectious.
Thank you for being exactly who you are.
I am so grateful for all that you do.
Your conscientiousness never goes unnoticed.
I am thankful for the ease you bring to my life.
Being the youngest boy -
Sitting as number four in the pack of five -
Must be a rough place to live.
Especially as complacent as you are.
It must appear that those that stir things up a bit drive more attention their way.
But make no mistake -
Every moment of every day I know how lucky I am to have you.
I am aware of all the tremendous things that you are.
I thought it was about time for me to tell you so.
Just in case you thought I didn't see.
I love you to the sky and back...
a million, trillion, ZILLION times.