Nicky Nick, you're staying up tonight until 11:55 because that's when you officially turn 11. This comes as no surprise to any of us because you're precise like that. I'm not staying up. Because I'm tired. You're staying up past my bedtime, in the company of your big brothers and sisters. I guess that means you're officially one of the big kids now. I look at your still-round face and remember the baby I hauled out of bed every morning, rain or shine, heat or frost, to go five miles in the stroller. Still the child of my heart, the morning is ours alone most days, even now.
You are my fifth boy. I know that the round face will soon yield angles. And just yesterday, I heard a big brother say that he's kind of scared of what the next year or so holds for him. He knows. He knows that just a few flips of the calendar pages away, you will tower over all of them and, at long last, you will settle a decade of scores. Because you've been keeping count. You're precise like that;-) Watching quietly as they all grow up before you do, praying fervently even still for a little brother (hear him, St. Andrew?), you are the last little boy. And you are becoming a man.
I love you so much and I'm so glad I get a front row seat to watch you grow!