Blake turned one year older like he always does the first week of December. He planned out his traditional birthday date with me months in advance. We spent his ninth birthday together at Knott’s Berry Farm.
He was beyond thrilled to go on all the rides that aren’t an option when we have shorter little brothers in tow.
Blake called the shots and he wasn’t mad about it.
The park was absolutely empty on a weekday. We walked on every single ride and several rides we repeated three or more times in a row. It’s hard not to when you can walk out the exit, back in through the entrance and buckle up before the next departure even takes off.
I let Blake tackle all of the spinning rides on his own.
He’s got the smolder down.
We went to Johnny Rockets for lunch and Blake was fascinated by the jukebox. He had never seen one before.
More proof of how empty the park was.
Blake told me halfway through the day, “On a scale of 1 to 100, this day is 100.”
I loved spending the entire day with him and here are nine more things I love about Blake:
- He is an early riser. He is usually up by 6am or earlier regardless of when he went to bed the night before. When I talked to him about trying to sleep in longer, he told me, “My body can’t resist waking up early. I don’t want to waste my day.” Fair enough.
- With all that extra time in the morning, he is responsible. He makes his own breakfast, packs his lunch for school and often helps his brothers with breakfast.
- He is a time keeper. He is always calculating how much time we have until the next event. He keeps me on track and helps us arrive at outings on time. He’s not always successful, but he tries!
- I couldn’t imagine a more inclusive oldest brother. He involves his little brothers in everything he does and genuinely chooses to spend his free time with them. Sometimes when we come home from church, he sets up an extended “nursery” for Crew and Finn. He pulls out puzzles, puppets and games and sets up stations for them to rotate through.
- He is a hard worker. Each weekday, he has a heavy amount of homework to work through. He also practices piano and swims over 1000 yards with his team most days. He buckles down right when he gets home from school. He is starting to see his hard work pay off each time he progresses on the piano or his swim times drop.
- He is remorseful and repentant. When he gives us attitude or disobeys, he always apologizes later on. I don’t know many kids who utter the words, “I’m sorry for overreacting.” We often receive apology notes from him. One time he must have felt really bad because he attached service coupons for room cleaning and dishwasher unloading. Sometimes he folds his apology notes into paper airplanes and sends them down the stairwell because he just can’t sleep without a clear conscience.
- He is polite. He uses manners and he is respectful towards adults. He was rewarded an extra treat from his piano teacher recently because he was her only student that day to say, “Yes, please.”
- He is creative. He doesn’t build as many machines as he did when he was younger, but he loves to exert creativity into cooking concoctions, circuit sets and LEGO structures.
- He is grateful. He is the first to thank us for dinner or special outings. Every night in his prayers, he expresses gratitude for “mom and dad who work so hard for our house and our food.” He thanked me at least once per hour on his birthday date to Knott’s Berry Farm.I can hardly believe he is beginning his last year of single digits. Happy ninth, Blake.