Nicklas turned 11 today. I can't believe I have an 11-year-old! He was so excited when he came home from the IU basketball game last night and saw his presents sitting on the counter. He also asked if I would set his alarm for 5:36am so he could wake up the moment he turned 11.
(Click here to read his birth story.)
It is such a joy to be a mom to Nicklas. I'm so proud of him and all he accomplishes. He used to be more tentitive to try new things and hesitant to get involved but I see that less and less from him. His general nervousness is being overcome by confidence which makes me happy. Confidence in adolescence is so important! As Nicklas grows and matures, he is more excited to try new things, new experiences, and sometimes, even new foods. He actually tried pad thai a few weeks ago - and he liked it! He also likes chili, meat pizza, tacos, and brownies. For his birthday dinner, he picked Casa Brava so we will be eating there this evening.
Nicklas continues to love sports. He watches ESPN SportsCenter every morning and the Polack always has to search the house for the sports section of the newspaper. He looks forward to college football on Saturday's and NFL on Sunday. He keeps his sports jersey's in a special section of his closet because they mean so much to him. He's doing well in tae kwon do and wants to continue with basketball and baseball. I'm encouraging him to also look at other activities and he recently started playing cello. I would also like to sign him up for theater/drama classes. I've been wanting to do that for some time - he loves acting and he has such an expressive face - and his music teacher recently reinforced this by also suggesting we look into signing him for Stages Bloomington. It would be a great experience for him.
In continuing with our tradition of having birthday parties every other year, this was a non party year for Nicklas. Instead he invited two friends to spend the night last Friday. I picked them up from school and we went to the store so they could pick out some snacks to eat for the evening. They spent most of the time playing Wii but also talking sports and wrestling. They were so loud and I LOVED every minute of hearing the boys talk and laugh and celebrate Wii game victories. Seeger and the Polack were gone most of the evening for Seeger's orange belt testing but when they got home, the boys were so good to Seeger. Before bed, they all watched Mystery Men together and in the morning, I made them chocolate chip pancakes. The entire time, I think I had a smile on my face because I really enjoyed seeing and hearing the boys play together and taking care of them while staying out of their way. I was able to play my favorite role - mom to Nicklas and Seeger. I'm so blessed to have so great kids. Even when they drive me crazy, I would never want to change our relationship.
I know that things will get tough as Nicklas (and Seeger) go through their teenage years. It's never easy for any kid or their parents. I hope I'll remember the be sensitive to his needs and respectful of his emotions. Regardless, I will remind myself that I've done the best I could with providing Nicklas all the tools needed to survive in this world we live. I always enjoy going back and reading previous birthday blog posts I've written about Nicklas. Hopefully, I'll continue to practice in years to come to remind myself how lucky I am.
Happy birthday, Nicklas. Thank you for always making me smile.