You are 9 now Big. It's your last year of single digits. Things will change for you soon. I'm sure you will start to spend less and less time around me and your sister and more and more time around your Daddy and the other men in our family. And this thought, or future reality breathes on my back and makes me try to slow down and take a deep breath and realize you will only be my little Big for a spell longer.
When you hug me and don't let go at night just to stall-I kind of lay there a little bit and let you. When you stuff the cat in your shirt and then let him climb out so that it looks like you are puking him up, I don't say anything the first time. And when you say that I'm pretty or a good cook I make sure I say thank you each time and look you in the eye so you know I mean it and appreciate it.
Everyone says what a good boy you are all the time. Your Grandma, your teachers, Papa's huntin' partners - they all know what Daddy and I do. You are a smart kid with a big, huge crush on the outdoors. That is your place - where you like it the most - the outside.
Your birthday this year was in Chapin - the seed that planted your love for wide open spaces. I know that you will squeeze every drip out of 9 and we can't wait to watch you.