Fourteen. Fourteen! How is that even possible? It seems like only recently that we were making rules for you like, "You're not allowed to sit on other children."
You were not always the easiest of children, my son. You were our first, and you broke us into parenting with a bang. Even as a toddler, you were all about being wild. We would put you on time out for throwing things, and as soon as you were back up, you'd go straight back to throwing the same things. When Katrina was still a tiny baby, you figured out that if you screamed in the car, she would cry. And so you would scream and she would cry, and you'd wait until she calmed down and then scream again. You sat on your friends and pushed them and were generally pretty rough with other kids in general. The first several years of school, you got into trouble constantly, and i was starting to get genuinely worried for your future.
And then, you just kind of sorted everything out. You started excelling at school - for the past few years, we've heard almost exclusively positive things about you from your teachers. With the occasional exception with your siblings, you've stopped being too wild with other people. You've developed an amazing sense of empathy, and you are incredibly kind to other people. You try really hard to do the right thing.
Maybe that strong will, that mind of your own, that was used for evil when you were small is now working for good. You have a strong sense of self, and a strong moral compass, and you aren't afraid to be who you are.
You've gathered a group of friends around you, and you are all delightfully geeky together. Not only do you not care about being one of the popular kids, but you actually try not to be one of the popular kids. You want friends who are, like you, interested in Doctor Who and books and how things work. And your friends are really great. I could not have chosen better friends for you if i'd been in charge.
I feel like this going to be a year of change. Right now you're still quite a bit shorter than me, but there's a good chance you'll be taller by next year. By next year you'll probably have braces. You'll be hitting puberty, and your voice will change, and you'll develop that gangly look that teenaged boys always seem to have. You'll maybe stop wanting to snuggle on the couch during movies. You're on the brink, and i'm both sad to be losing my little boy and excited to see what kind of adult you're going to turn into.
You're smart and funny and kind. You're really good at encouraging others and building them up. You are joyful and thoughtful You're creative and love sharing your creativity with others. You love Minecraft and making and editing Minecrafting videos. You've been making comics lately, and while they are vaguely disturbing, they totally show your sense of humor.
Keep being who you are, Houston. You're an amazing guy, and i can't wait to see what's next.