Today Sawyer you turn nine years old. Each year feels so much shorter than the last. I blink and another season is passing, another grade you are completing. As you are getting older, daddy and I just continue to grow with pride as we watch you. 

You make us smile. Every. Day. Your sense of humor is one of the best. And you truly are funny. Not just little kid funny, but you are witty and you understand humor so well. You find joy in everything you look at. And because of that you bring joy to all of us.  At the dinner table when you tell a story we know it's going to be good because your smile tells us it is before you even start the story.

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Out of all of my children, you are the one that makes sure you get a hug and a kiss goodbye, you run to the door as I leave to make sure I hear that you love me. You are not stingy with your affection. Just the other day Papa stopped by real quick. You had a friend over and you were very focused on the game you were playing, but as you heard the door open for him to leave, you hopped up, raced to him and threw yourself on him for a hug and to say goodbye. And then you ran off to resume your game. I don't think my heart was the only one that swelled. You could see it in Papa's eyes and smile that he absolutely loved that you felt the need to hug him goodbye.  

It's very important to you to be heard. You need to feel you are heard. When you were younger it would be the worst thing in the world if someone didn't let you explain yourself. And even today, someone stopping you from speaking, you view it as torturous. You have always felt strongly about things, but as you are getting older, I notice that you are more and more reasonable. When we explain something to you, and it sounds logical and reasonable, you accept it. This I see as you mature and get older.

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Out of all my kids you appreciate one on one time the most. You savor it, you enjoy it, you are so appreciative of time with one of us. You smile the entire time. This year daddy took you camping to Joshua Tree. Just the two of you. And I think you were so grateful not just to be doing something fun without your brother or sister, but because you know how special it is to be with just daddy, no distractions. Time to talk and laugh, just to enjoy each other. I love when it works out that I have to run an errand and you come along. You are the first to mention that it's just the two of us. And we smile and hug and comment at how fun it is, just the two of us. 

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We are so proud of the student you are. You are such a hard worker. You are honest and kind. You stand up for what is right. I have no doubt that no one will sway you to do something you aren't comfortable with. 

We love you so much Sawyer, and the little man you are turning into before our eyes could not be sweeter.