Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dear Caleb

Caleb's year-long autobiography assignment is nearly complete. One final piece of writing was actually a homework assignment for me. I was to write a letter to Caleb that would brag about his strengths, give advice and/or share special memories. It was difficult to write. How you do sum up your child's life in one short letter? It was an emotional experience. I cried. A lot.

Dear Caleb,

Sometimes the greatest blessings of life come as wonderful surprises. You were one such surprise blessing. Our Heavenly Father knew I had a lot to learn so He sent you to our family to help my spirit grow in unimaginable ways. The minute I held you and looked at your perfectly parted blonde hair and delicate face I knew I’d never be the same. What I couldn’t fully understand then were the many life lessons you’d help me learn.

Our Heavenly Father saw fit to give you a few extra challenges in this life. You have endured them with amazing courage! You’ve seen an untold number of doctors in your twelve short years, but always with a brave face. Asperger’s sure is tough, isn’t it? But that’s not all. You’ve had blood draws, ambulance rides, a tube down your nose, all sorts of medications and so much more; you were strong even when I wasn’t. You’ve taught me long-suffering.

You have a deep desire to do what’s right and are not easily influenced by the world’s standards. Your sincere prayers unselfishly ask more for the blessings of others than for yourself. Your loyalty is unwavering. You’re a true friend in every sense of the word. You are sincerely happy for your friend’s accomplishments and always free of jealousy or guile. Your thoughtfulness is also displayed in your kindness to babies and young children. Many of them will look up to you and I hope you’ll always be a good example for them to follow. You’ve taught me what it means to be genuine.

I love that you’re an avid sports fan and more importantly a true blue Cougar! We’re a lot alike in that way. Your knowledge of sports statistics is very fascinating to me. Your memory is simply amazing. It’s a natural gift that you’ve been given and I hope you’ll use it wisely. I love that your drawers are filled with BYU shirts but that you’ll wear those from other schools, too. I’ve never heard anyone cheer as loudly as you. And your dance moves are the best—especially when they show them on the Mariner’s Jumbotron! You’ve taught me about being passionate.

We sometimes butt heads, you and I. Like oil and water you sometimes say. My intense concern for helping you develop into a responsible young man sometimes conflicts with the way you want to do things. We get frustrated when the ways of “your world” collide with mine. I am learning acceptance. But when I come to you in apology, your tender heart is opened wide to me. You readily forgive my impatience with open arms and tear-filled eyes. I love that about you. You’ve taught me forgiveness.

I’ll always think you’re the most handsome boy around. Remember when you were a baby and I would sing that silly song that I made up for you, “He’s the Cutest Little Boy in the Whole Wide World?” You were the cutest little boy without question, but that song was special in others ways too. It helped calm you and fill you with a sense of security that I was there to care for you. You’re much too old for our song now, but I still think you’re the cutest boy and will always be here to care for you.

I have big dreams for you, Caleb. I hope you’ll go to college one day. I hope you’ll serve a mission. I hope you’ll find a sweet girl to be your wife. It will be hard work. It won’t be easy. In fact, it may be harder for you than for others but you can do it. And I will do anything and everything I can to help you achieve all that you desire.

Learning to listen to and follow the Spirit will be the most important quest of your life. I hope you’ll do all that is necessary to be worthy of the companionship of the Spirit. Develop your relationship with the Savior and rely on Him as your struggle through the challenges you’ve been given.

Always remember that I love you. You are a tremendous blessing to me. Thank you for teaching me so many important life lessons. You are a remarkable boy!

Love, Mom

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Take Your Child to Work Play Day

Alyssa waited for years for this opportunity. The year she was finally old enough to go to work with Dad was the year Dad didn't have a job. The next year the new job was too new to have any tag-a-longs. But this year, at the new-old job, she finally got to see what Take Your Child to Work Day was all about.

It's always fun to ride the train into the city...

There's Dad's building.

The view from Dad's floor.

Caleb looks like he's working hard, doesn't he?

Lunchtime! Let's go to the market.

And play some video games at Gameworks, too.

How about a warm drink at the original Starbucks?

They went back to the market at the end of the day to pick me up a bouquet of fresh flowers. How sweet!

Then a quick stop at the International District on the the way to the train.

I'm not sure how much work was actually done but it sure was a fun, fun day with Dad!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hanging It Up

Just the leo, that is. Not the sport--oh heavens, no--not the sport. After all, she did declare the gym her "favorite place on earth." But this last weekend was Alyssa's level 6 state meet and it marked the last time she'd don this leotard.

She slipped into it first thing in the morning and remarked, "Well, this is the last time I'll wear this." I was sad. Just a little. But with the compeletion of the state meet, Alyssa now advances to level 7 which is the first level of optional gymnastics and the optional gymnasts wear a different leo. She's excited.

Alyssa performed well in her last outing as a compulsory gymnast. Her routines were solid, she looked polished and her performance earned her a fifth place all-around finish. She finished 7th on vault, 6th on floor, 5th on bars and 3rd on beam.

She went to practice the very next day and one of her level 7 tumbling passes started to really click. It was looking so good she wanted to take a video for Dad to see. Here it is:

Way to go Lys! We're so proud of you and all your dedication and hard work!