It's Zane's birthday today! This boy - this absolutely adorable and silly and awesome kid - is now eleven years old and ready to enter middle school. How is that possible?!
In a lot of ways, it gets harder and harder to write birthday posts for my kids, because they don't change as much from year to year. When they were turning 2 or 3, there were huge, obvious changes in development and skills, but when they're turning eleven or 15.... Not so much.
So i don't think that Zane's personality has done a whole lot of changing in the past year. He's still the same incredibly energetic, wiggly, hilarious, sweet, happy boy that he has been for years. He loves people and is at his happiest when he is with family or friends - and people who he meets tend to become friends pretty quickly if they allow it.
He loves listening to stories, whether they're read by me or an audio book, and he will spend hours listening to books while he's playing with Legos or other random toys in his room. His favorites are currently Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. (When i'm reading them, he tends to listen while hanging upside down on the couch...no, right way up...no, upside down...no, with his feet on the wall....)
When he is actually reading the books himself, however, he always prefers non-fiction. Books about the deadliest bugs or the biggest earthquakes or why bats are mammals fascinate him. And, unlike me, he actually remembers many of the facts that he reads. He will happily tell you all kinds of random factoids if you get him on the subject.
He, like most kids his age, loves playing video games. His favorite is Minecraft, and his favorite way to play it is as a team with Houston or Katrina or one of his friends. He regularly has friends call him, and then he puts the phone on speaker, sets it next to him on the desk, and plays a game with that friend so that they can talk to each other while playing together.
He'll actually talk on the phone with friends for ages even if they aren't playing computer together. Out of all of my kids, he's the only one who regularly calls friends and just ... talks to them. And i suppose that's not entirely surprising, because Zane just loves to talk. There are times when he will just sit down by you and start talking, and he will just talk and talk and talk.
When Zane isn't bouncing around, he's surprisingly thoughtful. He makes sweet signs for his siblings' doors. He'll sit next to me, grab my foot, and give me a spontaneous foot rub. He'll stand in the kitchen and chat with me while i'm cooking. He'll offer to sit in the back of the van because none of the kids wants to. He tells me a hundred times a day, "I love you!"
Zane loves bike rides, especially with his dad. He loves candy. He loves Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." He loves science. He loves exploring. He loves climbing around in the "forest" by our house with Katrina. He loves PopTarts. And he thinks that he, himself, is pretty awesome.
He is just so happy and loving. He reminds me a bit of Emma sometimes: everybody is just a friend that he maybe hasn't met yet. I hope that he can forever keep his level of curiosity and optimism. I just adore this kid.