Eleven on Twelve Thirteen

(kudos to Nana Jo for figuring that out…Luke is 11 years old on 12/13!)

Dear Luke,

For your birthday this year, we made really fun plans. Like usual, you would get to choose the dinner place. Then, we would head to the Anheuser-Busch brewery to walk through their Christmas light display, and cook s’mores in the firepits they have set up and see the Clydesdales and have this totally fun, memorable family excursion. And in the picture in my head of this lovely event, when I made these plans, it might’ve been snowing a little and that would’ve been pretty and everything.

Well, a couple of days ago, the weather forecast started looking bad, saying rain would turn to sleet and snow by midday, and then it would snow all night long. Boo.

It did start raining around 11am, and kept raining all afternoon, though it didn’t freeze. However, we had to make a decision before dinnertime, and we felt it was best to try to go the brewery a different night, but that we could still go to dinner.

A few years ago, this would’ve been completely devastating news on your birthday…however, at 11, you’re thankfully better at dealing with disappointment than you used to be. You totally rolled with our rescheduling plan*, which is just another example of how grown up you’re getting to be.

It’s not all sunshine and happiness; the last year had its fair share of rough moments, and parenting experiences that left your dad and me scratching our heads (and me realizing just how completely parenting babies-preschoolers is my wheelhouse, and your age, well, is not). Parenting you is just more complicated than before; the issues we have to talk about about and worry about are just bigger and have more impact on real life and who you’ll be when you’re grown.

I know you sometimes think we’re too hard on you…and that might be true. We’re doing the best we can with what we know about parenting a pre-teen, and, as you’re probably aware, it’s not a lot. We just don’t want to screw this (meaning, of course, you) up. So we’re going to err on the side of being too strict. I know you won’t love it. I know we’ll do some things wrong. I also know that your youngest brother will someday probably have more freedom than you do at this age, and you’ll think it’s unfair, but that’s life.

If I sound negative, I don’t mean to…it’s been a GREAT year! I am extremely proud of the responsibility you’ve taken on at school. Your principals view you as a leader, and ask you to do lots of things that show they trust your decision-making. And I love that you’re old enough to watch your brothers for a very short time now and then! That’s a win for everyone 🙂

Having a birthday so close to Christmas means that we are sometimes crunched for time, but I hope you know how much we love celebrating you being a part of our family. While our plans were altered last night, we still had a great time! Dinner at Dewey’s was a great choice, and I hope you love your presents, too. And even though we completely made up our own rules for Creationary, it was good for a lot of laughter and fun! Also: a big thanks to Jilly’s Cupcakes for having a stand set up, in of all places, Sam’s Club, so that when I realized we might not be having s’mores as a birthday treat, they were available to save the day!

We all love you so much!


*Now likely out the window, since Bennett threw up this morning. And what I know of this stomach bug is this: it is swift and incredibly contagious. I’m bracing us for a long few days of puke.

3 responses to “Eleven on Twelve Thirteen

  1. Happy Birthday Luke!! Dewey’s was a great choice! I love that place.
    No guesses on what Matt’s creation is, but I’m very curious.

  2. I, too, have no clue about Matt’s creation, but I just figured it’s something popular that I don’t know about–made me feel better to know Hayley didn’t know either! 😉

    I’m just clawing & gripping onto the fact that Luke’s still got a couple yrs til he’s a teenager!! I can tell in so many ways that he’s entering the pre-adolescent stage, which is for sure a time of transition for the him as well as for you & Matt. He’s still a kid but not a little kid! And I’m loving the show!

    The pics are great, as are your captions! I’d say it was a good birthday in spite of the altered plans! Now–just so the whole family doesn’t end up sick.

  3. owensjudy@aol.com

    What a beautiful letter to Luke!

    Judy O

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