Hendersonville, North Carolina ~ 828.785.2389

December 14, 2010

A letter to Drew | Sunbury Photographer

Today you turn 13 years old.

It is so hard to believe that 13 years has passed already. How did that happen? I can remember the exact day of your birth. How your dad was upset because the nurses were taking a while to get me in a room when we got to the hospital. He was missing the Bengals game! I remember when we were finally settled into our room after your birth in the wee hours of the morning, I heard a baby screaming in the hallway. I thought to myself, I wish someone would quiet their baby. Little did I know that it was my baby and the nurses were bringing him to me to try and calm. Being a first time mommy, I had no idea what to do to calm you down. I won’t even go into how many times the scenarios of that night replayed in our home. You were such a sick little boy. Ear infections constantly that made you miserable most of your baby, toddler, and preschool years.

The day of your first birthday party we found out that you were going to be a big brother. Your little brother was born when you were 19 months old. That day you became such a big boy. Sometimes it makes me sad that you didn’t get to be the baby long enough.

You loved match box cars and Power Ranges as a toddler and preschooler. You loved Barney and Telletubbies. And Zooboomafoo! Thomas the Train became a fav too. You continued to love Power Rangers for many years and developed a love for Legos. As a matter of fact, this is the first year that you haven’t added Legos to your Christmas list. I guess that is another sign that you are growing up too quickly.

Another favorite thing of yours is your beloved football cards. You have collected them for years now and continually sort, organize and study them. I have said many times that I wish you spent half as much time on your school work as you do on your football cards!

At four, you went to preschool. You rode the school bus to preschool with the elementary kids. You were so tiny getting on that giant school bus. I worried that the school age kids would be mean to you. Luckily you had a wonderful bus driver named Ralph that took very good care of you.

You did great in preschool and went off to Kindergarten the next year and thrived there as well. First and second grade were a breeze. You were very shy and had a hard time making friends sometimes. You had and still have a few very close friends instead of lots of acquaintances. Third and fourth grade were a little tougher and then we homeschooled in fifth grade. You decided you wanted to go back to school for sixth grade because you wanted to be eligible for school sports. You did great in sixth grade and are doing great in seventh grade as well.

You began playing sports in Kindergarten. First was t-ball. Then basketball. And then a couple of years later you started playing tackle football. I was so worried about you starting out in football in the tackle division. I begged the football league to allow you to play flag football for a year even though you were too old. Of course they denied my request and assured me you would be fine in tackle. And of course you were. That is until in the 6th grade your best buddy broke your arm at football conditioning causing you to miss most of the season that year. You went on to absolutely fall in love with the sport of football and became somewhat obsessed with it. Basketball has also been a great love of yours throughout the years. You have been playing for 8 years now. I hope that you don’t get burnt out on sports by the time you make it to high school since you have been playing for so long.

You are such a great big brother to your baby sister and hold your own quite well in the annoyance of my brothers competition going on in our home.

I pray that you all will grow up and be very close as adults. Will love & support one another, and have each others backs. I know right now you don’t think that is possible with your little brothers that annoy the daylights out of you. But I’m hopeful that as you all grow older, your relationships will grow into something that you probably can’t even imagine right now. I speak from experience. Your Aunt Jenny and I didn’t get along so well when we were your age. :o)

Since about the age of 8 or 9 you have hated having your picture taken. This has been a constant battle between you and I. Once you even refused to look at the camera for our Christmas card family picture. So we sent out a card with you looking down in the picture that year. I have numerous pictures of your hand in the face of my camera or covering your face. I have more pictures then I can count of you darting out the side of the frame or blurry images of you attempting to dart. But I keep snapping pics. Taking them when you don’t know that I am taking them.

And sometimes forcing you to be in a photo against your will. I want to document your life just like your siblings lives. I want to remember the details of each stage of your childhood. Without pictures, I won’t be able to remember. Remember your chubby cheeks as a toddler, remember your first day of kindergarten, the summer you let your hair grow really long, the summer you were boogie boarding in the ocean with your arm in a cast and big blue rubber glove to protect the cast. So bear with me and allow me to capture these memories for me and for you. Someday you will be glad you have them. I’m sure of it! :o)

So tonight on your 13th birthday, I sit here with a lump in my throat that you are growing up so fast and will be moving on in life in just a few short years. I know that we will have a few rough years between now and then. But I’m confident that we will make it through and come out on the other side with an even stronger relationship than we have now.

I love you Drewby. Happy Birthday buddy!

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