A few days after you were born your dad headed home since Nana was staying with Elijah and you and I hung out in St. Louis while we waited to see if my liver would rupture. Those days are a blur, however, there are distinct moments that I still remember with clarity.
You have always approached life at your own pace and on your own terms. Born over five weeks early you weren’t concerned that babies born that early need to eat on a specific schedule. Instead, you ate when you wanted to eat and if we tried to coax you otherwise you made us regret our efforts.
Even on your earliest days, you stared intently into people’s eyes listening to conversations and observing everything around you.
It seems to be me you’ve always understood the subtle nuances in conversation. Sarcasm, passive-aggressive behaviors, and even responses from people who didn’t quite know what they want are not lost on you.
You have a sensitivity and consideration for people that make you are caring and loyal friend. These are outstanding characteristics and I pray that you never feel the need the hide them.
Your teachers consistently share that you are an excellent student. This is something your grades also reflect. You are diligent to study concepts and you do a great job of asking questions to make sure you ask questions when you don’t understand things. You are respectful of your authorities even when you don’t necessarily agree with their teaching methods.
I’m so incredibly proud of the fact that you understand you shouldn’t demand that the world bends to your preferences. You adapt and adjust to teaching styles and expectations rather than expecting everyone to adjust to you, but you also know when to stand your ground. This is another characteristic that will help you in the future.
Your relationship with God continues to deepen. You offer insights about what you are learning at church on Sundays and Wednesdays. I’m so thankful for leaders who understand even in seventh grade your relationship with Jesus is real and needs tending.
Thirteen years later you still prefer to eat on your own schedule and you love to listen to conversations rather than participate in them. Finally, you still complete our family.
Happy Birthday, Levi! I cannot wait to see all the ways God blesses this thirteenth year of life!