The Tovsky Tribe

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Letter to my Sons on their 9th Birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

9!  Nine!  9??? Seems more appropriate. 
You never know where the time goes nor how it could possibly pass so fast yet each year is met with the same disbelief as the one that happened "yesterday."

As you've been counting down the last few days til your birthday I've been joking with you that you'd see me cry that day. I'm only half joking, of course. I'm not sad, necessarily, just emotionally roller coastering between nostalgic, for the babies you once were, and amazed, by the big guys you've become. 

9 brings so many things: a maturity that seems impossible alongside the "tween" freshness that is brought; an intelligence that comes from life as well as the classroom; an understanding that can't be taught just learned in time; a social and activity calendar that requires an assistant to track;and so much more that an attempt to list them seems futile. 

But, also with 9, comes the half-way mark of your childhood.  This moment that I'm taking to write this very letter is acting as a pause to breathe, my very own half- time, in the child-rearing of my oldest sons.   I am at the precipice of time, of your childhood. Yesterday, I was still closer to the babies you once were, but tomorrow the scale tips in the other direction. Somehow, I see the second half going so much faster. Doesn't it usually??  I can only imagine what will become of your lanky bodies, and can only dream about what you will achieve from the talents you're starting to show. I may never stop remembering, even yearning for, the coos and the giggles you gave me almost a decade ago but I'll continue to marvel at the changes, the morphing before me and will  never stop admiring the people you are and continue to become.

We are in the summer between 3rd and 4th grade. You're coming off fantastic school years where more was expected from you and more was received. The friendships you've been cultivating have started to take root and the boys you call friends are becoming extended parts of our family. 

Chase, you're fueled on sports. As lean as you are, you are tough and competitive and quite a good little athlete.  This year you've upped your game in baseball and are starting to really compete. And, after a year of recreational ice hockey you'll be trying a year of a more competitive travel team. Hockey is your first love of a sport and we are hoping  3-4 times on the ice, weekly, will really improve your game. And, though you've been playing since you are 3 and have done well with it, we've decided to sideline soccer for hockey. You're happy playing any sport and I love watching you play. 

You love the Flyers and the Phillies and, as a true fan, don't waiver on that love inspite of their less than stellar seasons. 

At school you had Mrs. Sottung and had a wonderful year. Academically and socially you thrived and I'm excited to see what 4th grade brings you. 

You're also in to magic and can perform a number of tricks so well that you have me fooled even though I know exactly how they are done. Like most things you do, you have applied focus and determination into learning your tricks and present them with a pride to envy. 

You are funny and kind and a good friend and brother. You're happy, sometimes mellow, and wouldn't be you if things weren't a bit messy. You are smart and charming and like to be part of the group. You understand manners and respect and are well-liked where ever you go. 

Ryder, no one on this planet fascinates me more than you do.  The way your mind works; the perspective you have; your clever thought process; it all intrigues me everyday.  You are wonderfully creative and imaginative and your talents are blossoming more and more.  The art you create is beyond what I would ever expect from a young boy and, yet, it comes to you with ease.  You can draw just about anything from the image in your mind and the things you put on paper can come to life.

Although your exploration of music is on hold I do hope it is a temporary hiatus and at some point you decide to pursue it again.  A few months ago you got up on stage and sang a song to an audience.  It was fantastic.  I've always wanted to sing sing for an audience and watching you do just that was an emotionally proud moment for me.

You had a great school year with Mrs. Hasness.  This was her final year of teaching and she embraced it, and you.  She, like all of the teachers you've had before her, were awed by your creativity and your sensitive way.  She managed to understand your dynamic being and allowed you to find success. I look forward to seeing how you grow more in 4th grade.

You are kind and funny and make friends easily.  You are a good and loyal friend and brother and anyone who has you in their corner is truly lucky, even if you don't always let on.  You love playing basketball and enjoy playing baseball and played both sports this year in the intramural league.

Amongst all the things that have happened this year the most substantial change for both of you, for all of us, was the welcoming of Decker.  Every moment since you found out about his arrival you've been excited and happy.  You've both welcomed him with such open arms and delight  and watching you fall in love for the first time melts my heart each time you look at him, kiss him, hug him, or tell him you love him.  You're both wonderful big brothers in your very own way and I sit back, astonished, at the young men you're becoming.

To keep the records straight, Chase you gained 5 pounds (56.2)  this year and grew 3 inches(52 inches)  Though that is a pretty good gain you are still the 3rd heaviest in the family.  Ryder you also grew 3 inches (53.5 inches) and gained 13 pounds (83!)  WOW!

You will celebrate this birthday this coming Saturday with your closest buddies at Gravity Forge Training Center which is an American Ninja Warrior gym, which is one of your favorites.  Should be a great party.

With all the changes, with how much you've grown, in so many ways you're still the exact same babies you were. Chase, attentive and focused, eyes wide open with a grin to pause all action; and, Ryder, eyes full of wonder, imaginative and carefree, full of energy and the need to touch everything.

I look at you both and know you're mine but often wonder what it is I did right or if I just got truly lucky, four times over.  You make me proud, every day. 

I wish you the happiest of birthdays, the very best of years. I wish you happiness always. Every moment, every day, I do love you so....

Mommy  (which you never call me unless you want something)

Growing in to the birthday shirt- almost fits!!

Growing in to the birthday shirt- Mr. No Arms

It's been a while since I had written you letters but here are the last ones.
Chase at 6
Ryder at 6

5 year old letter

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