Our son, Lincoln, turned 11 last month. He is our blondie, our artist, our leftie, and our only son to be both a younger AND older brother. Lincoln is a loyal friend, a peacemaker, a tender-hearted & affectionate son, brother and friend.
Lincoln is a 5th grader this year – the oldest class in his elementary school. At the end of summer, he was excited to go back to school – mostly because he was dying to find out if he got the teacher he was hoping for and to see if he would get to have his favorite 5-year-old for his “kindergarten buddy.” He was ecstatic to discover that YES (!!), he got both — the makings for an excellent final year of grade school. Lincoln’s special friend, Luke, is his “buddy” which means they get to play together on the playground, eat lunch together each week and Lincoln gets to go spend time with him in his kindergarten room from time to time. Our families are close friends and Luke & Lincoln have always had a special bond, despite the 6 years’ difference in their ages. I am so proud to hear that Lincoln and his fellow 5th graders are doing an incredible job be-friending the kindergarten youngsters and helping them feel included and welcome at school.
Our Lincoln is a smarty pants, an avid reader and a perfectionist. So many things come naturally to him at school that he can have a hard time coping when other things aren’t as easy. He love sports, too – Lincoln is a fish and would swim every day if possible. He also enjoys tennis and basketball and soccer, but these things can frustrate him quickly when making baskets, for instance, doesn’t come easily. Too many missed shots and he is in tears – even when we’re just shooting baskets for fun at the nearby park or rec center. There is a lot of pressure in both our local community and greater culture to be truly GREAT at something, and I’m sure Lincoln feels it. Like so many perfectionists, he would prefer to excel not just at one thing, but at EVERYthing.
Being the middle child and four years behind your older brother isn’t always easy. Not the first/oldest and not the baby, it’s easy to feel (and be) overlooked at times. Lincoln does stand out in his own way. He is friendly and social and is “that kid” on the playground – always walking away having made a new friend or including someone he didn’t know in the game he was playing. He is our only child that seeks out alone time, too, which I’ve always been intrigued by. From a young age, he has purposely gone off on his own to play quietly by himself almost daily. I’m still not sure what this is, but I like to think he instinctively knows that he needs alone time to re-charge for time with people & friends. What does he do by himself? He plays with (200+) dice on his bed (we will never fully understand what he imagines while he does it), he reads, he draws, and he plays games on his phone.
Lincoln, our sweet boy, here’s to another wonderful year of growing, learning, loving and being loved by all of us. You are uniquely YOU, and we wouldn’t trade you for anyone else. May you slow down, rise to the challenge of embracing the things that don’t always come easy, and know beyond a shadow a doubt that you are seen, you are special and that we are always here for you. Happy 11th birthday!