Thursday, December 5, 2013

Camden's Birthday Letter

Dear Camden,

Today you turned 7. You, my not-so-little-anymore boy, are an exceptional child. Each day of the last year, and of your whole life actually, has been exciting. It dawned on me a few weeks ago that the best way to describe life with you is that it is one cliff hanger to another. You never really know what is coming next, but we know it is going to be something big.

I'm sure every birthday letter since the age of 2 has commented about your language ability. This one will be no different. You express your thoughts very well. You still haven't developed much of a filter for your mouth, pretty much anything that goes through your head comes out your mouth as well. It is a bit of a chicken or the egg thing. Is your language ability so good because you talk so much, or do you talk so much because your language is so good? Either way, we love your communication skills.

 You love learning new things. Daddy took you on a date bowling on Sunday and was amazed at all the information about spiders and pilgrims you downloaded to him. Evidently, that is what you have been learning in school, and you absorbed it all. Dad shared more information with you about pilgrims and you were so excited about it that you made him come home and write it down. You wanted to take the paper to give it to Mrs. Terveen so she would give you, "extra credit." I don't think there is much extra credit given in first grade, but you certainly deserve some. Speaking of school, we just had your parent-teacher conference and you are doing great. You have lots of friends in school and work really hard. I am so grateful that you can channel your energy in school and keep it together to have good behavior. You love your classroom "clip chart" and try really hard everyday to make it to "outstanding."

For your birthday you asked for a microscope. But you said, "we have had the toy kind, and I don't want another one of those. I want the kind scientists use in laboratories." We managed to find one that we think will work well. It isn't what they are using at the CDC or anything, but I think it is real enough that you (and your siblings) are going to enjoy it.

You wanted a Ducks vs. Beavers cake. So even though the civil war was last week, the drama and excitement of it still lives on in our house.

Cyndi noted something a few months ago after you had been wrestling with John, you treat adults and older kids as your equals. And that is true. You have never met someone that you wouldn't just go up and have a conversation with. We haven't been real successful at teaching you the concept of "stranger danger." We were at a restaurant one night and there was a pretty rough looking guy, complete with a worn leather jacket and a backpack with strange pins all over it. You were fascinated with the guy. He wasn't super friendly, but after you escaped from us and went over to talk to him multiple times you won him over. He answered your questions, and as we were leaving he took one of the pins off his backpack and gave it to you. Your persistence usually pays off. This makes parenting awfully difficult sometimes, but is going to pay huge dividends for you as an adult.

In a few weeks you are going to be in the Christmas program at church. You get to play David. Barry wrote the play so it would start with Abraham and go through Jesus. When I told you how you were going to get to (carefully) swing a slingshot around and "kill" Goliath (played by Nathan Amadio) and then put your foot (again, carefully) on his chest you got really excited. You said, "Sweet! I then get to take his sword and cut off his head!" Points for knowing the story well, but no. We are not acting that part out. Excellent casting on Barry's part. It should be entertaining.

This last year you have grown up so much Camden. You are learning self-control and patience. It is great. You are always going to be fast and busy, but the improved impulse control is awesome. The potential you have for impacting the Kingdom of God is pretty amazing. You are smart, witty, creative, and bold. You are a natural leader and are so much fun. You have taught dad and I so much. I can't wait to see what incredible things you do with your life. It is always a fun ride with you.

You have fascinating and deep questions. You contemplate God and what Jesus means in your life. You asked me the difference between suffering and death. Keep in mind this is when you were six. You are very concerned with people who don't know God yet. You worry about being with people and trying to figure out how to be friends with someone who doesn't know Jesus yet.

My biggest prayer for you is that you will follow God with your whole heart. You need to use the intelligence, wit, creativity and boldness that God has given you to glorify Him. But you also need to be careful about having pride in yourself rather than recognizing that everything you have is from God and for His glory.

A Bible verse from Joshua sums up what I want to say far better than any of my words. Here it is:

Joshua 1: 7-9 "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

With you Camden, it is always going to be exciting. I always love the excitement of a good cliff hanger.

Daddy and I love you so much Camden. Happy 7th birthday.



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