Seven. Today my Soso, you are seven. I feel pretty prepared for this milestone, it feels like you’ve been almost seven for ages. So I’m handling it pretty well. A lot has happened for you, and I don’t want to forget it. You lost your first tooth, and second, third and fourth. That smile was my most favorite smile of all time, missing both top teeth. It was fleeting because they grew in quickly. But I enjoyed every moment they were missing.

You rocked first grade. I mean you really rocked it. And somehow I am not petrified of you beginning second grade. I think you have matured and grown so much this last year. Your teacher especially comments about what a changed little man you are after completing first grade. I agree wholeheartedly. You transition now without a problem. You handle disappoints and disagreements so well. You have made close friendships and know what a good friend really is.

You and Greta are still for the most part connected at the hip. You love to play together. Appreciate one another. And I hope that you remain that close to her for all time. She needs you as a big brother. And I think you need her as a little sister as well. She looks out for you in such an incredible way. At any restaurant, at any given time, in front of anyone at the dinner table, no matter what, if someone orders shellfish or shrimp or calamari, or any combination, she will tell you that you have to be very careful and best to not sit next to her brother because he is allergic to that. She hates to see you cry or in pain. She comes to tell me if you hurt yourself or if someone was unkind to you. That little girl adores you.

We all pretty much adore you Sawyer. You are the most unique person I have ever met in my life. One of the most creative. I always tell myself that I’d love to investigate the inner workings of your mind. To see how stuff works in your little head. You are still a Lego genius and have surpassed Gunnar in your Lego building skills. But you aren’t cocky about it or arrogant. You are just stating fact, nothing fancy. Just true.

Your laugh is still hands down the best laugh and giggle of all time. Still infectious. Your dimple is still there, still irresistible to kiss. You have become quite adventurous this year. We went to Kauai this month and you were the first to volunteer for our adventures. Ziplining? Hand raised to go first. Jump off the ledge backward? No problem. Tubing inside caves with a headlamp as your only source of light? No need to be near mama or daddy? Not a problem. Your fearlessness is incredible. You enjoyed the beach and swam out past the waves just to tread water and feel nothing beneath your feet. I think that’s how you feel a lot of time. Nothing beneath your feet. You like it that way. You like to leap, no fear of where you will land.

I admire that so much in you Soso. I wish I could leap and not fear about the take off or the jump itself, or where I will land. But just enjoy the feeling of exhilaration and be present. You are so present in every single moment that you experience. You still experience them in heights that I only wish I could feel. Such happiness. Such excitement. Such greatness. Yes, there are also extreme sadness occasionally, and extreme hurt. But given the choice, I think you would still take all that just to get those moments of sheer delight.

You love to make up songs at the moment. They crack us up, especially when you make yourself laugh while singing them. You are still quite the dancer. We still aren’t sure where your moves come from. Your love for books has not waned. As I type this you and your brother are quietly in bed reading books for the last half hour before lights off. You love a little mystery now. You discovered the new Hardy Boys series that’s for younger kids and have devoured 4 of them already. You also love old classics like The Boxcar Children.

You have grown quite independent now. Some days you get yourself your own cereal and milk before I ever make it downstairs. You start your own shower most nights and almost every morning during the school year I awake to the sound of that shower downstairs. It tells me that you are up and are starting your day. You like to take your time in the shower and wake up slowly. It puts you in a good mood. In fact just last week you came home from camp tired and hungry, a bit cranky and you were picking fights with your siblings. I stuck you in the shower and 20 minutes later you emerged a different child. Water is very therapeutic for you. Whether that be the pool, the beach or a shower. And I can relate. There’s nothing like a hot bath to soothe my nerves, I get it.

You are currently obsessed with all things Smurf related. You have a Smurfs guide we bought at the bookstore. It was your little manual this summer. Reading up on all the smurfs and their personalities. Figuring all of us out and labeling us different smurf characters. It just so happens the movie comes out in a few days and you have been counting down the days for months.

You are such joy for this family. You make us smile, you make us laugh. You help us see the world through a set of eyes that are only gifted to you. No one else can see what you see. We are blessed to know you and love you. And with each passing year our appreciation for you grows. I am anxious to see what you will accomplish in this world. What greatness you will gift everyone in your path. I cannot wait to see what life for you will hold. And so privileged to be a part of it. To get to stand next to you and watch.