Friday, June 13, 2008


{photo taken by Whitebox and used with permission}

Kohler. The first-born. I've put off this post for a while, not knowing where to start. There's so much to say! But I promised you, so here it is:

--you're almost a teenager. only 3+ months to go.

--you're officially now a seventh grader! this was your first year of middle school and you did great.

--you have changed and matured so much in the past year. last summer you joined the swim team at our neighborhood pool and made lots of new friends and gained a new confidence in yourself. one new friendship led to us discovering magnet public schools and the humanities/media program at a school near us. we discovered there were 50 kids already on the waiting list, but figured it wouldn't hurt for you to test and apply, and what do you know . . . you got in! a few months previously I wouldn't have believed it was possible, but you were open to leaving your old school and trying out this new adventure. you only knew one friend, and were going from a class of 20 to a class of 300 kids, in a totally new environment. you showed no fear and stepped right up to the challenge.

--you continued to amaze me throughout your 6th grade year. the first quarter was very hard for you, getting used to being more responsible and a bigger load of school and home work. but by the 2nd quarter I noticed a change. you kept track of things on your own and I didn't have to nag or remind you much. you learned what the teachers expected of you and you vastly improved your writing skills. the first quarter you got three B's (which you had never had before!), but the rest of the year you only got one B each quarter (in media) which was excellent!

--you made new friends at your school and were unofficially voted one of the "hot" guys in your class! a couple girls asked you to dances, and while you turned them down, you did go to your first dance and had fun.

--you continued to keep growing at an alarming rate! every time I measure you you've added two inches, and now are around 5'8" tall--taller than both your dad and I!

--you are super easy and laid back. you rarely grumble or complain and always respond positively when asked to do something. you are always happy and rarely down.

--your interests right now include the guitar, music, cooking/grilling, friends, reading, and sports, especially swimming, basketball, and baseball. you played on a baseball team with your friends again this year, and again your team won the championships.

--you are an amazingly fast and natural swimmer. I love to watch you swim as you make it look so effortless. you are still in the 11-12 year old age group this year, and in time trials, came in first in every stroke except butterfly (you can in second), including the IM! you're looking forward to a great swim season.

--you are suddenly obsessed with cooking/grilling! you TiVo any Bobby Flay show and having been waiting for school to end so you can start cooking. today, your first day of vacation, you made yourself pancakes. you've also compiled a folder of favorite recipes you want to try. cool!

--one of your favorite classes this last year was "Radio Hour". you studied the history of radio and music and found all kinds of music you now love. luckily I seem to also have influenced your taste as you like quite a few bands I've introduced you to. your favorites include: the Beatles, Def Leppard, Genesis, andBob Dylan.

--you are in the land of in-between: you love being independent and grown up. you love having responsibilities and doing teenage-type things like hanging out with friends, riding your bike places, staying up late, but you also still love to play with your (younger) brothers. you want to inhabit both the quickly approaching teenage world, but aren't yet ready to leave the world of childhood behind. I love watching you in both worlds.

--you continue to be a voracious reader. you zip through books at the speed of light. you read 20+ books for school this year (independent, required reading) which you enjoyed, but are glad it's summer so you can choose what you want to read. your favorite genres are fantasy/sci-fi and historical fiction. you loved the Harry Potter series, and also like the Redwall series, Eragon and it's sequel, the Ranger's Apprentice and the Artemis Fowl series, and The City of Ember and it's sequels.

--you have an interesting relationship with money. you like to have it, but don't seem to care too much about it. we raised your allowance this year to $1 for every year you are per week, so $12 a week for now. my thought was you would use it for most things you wanted: clothing, music, movies, snacks, etc. however, you are more than content to simply let it pile up! I end up buying clothes for you because I like to, but I can't exactly force you to pay for them since it's my idea! you often leave money sitting around too, and have a hard time keeping track of it. you did finally use quite a bit of your money to buy yourself a nice iPod nano, which you love, love.

--you got your first cell phone this year! it wasn't something you were begging for, but now that you have it you certainly like it! we gave it to you for christmas, and honestly it was in part for our own convenience! there have been so many times I had wished you had one, so now you do.

--you are super smart and school work comes pretty easily for you, even at your new (more demanding) school. you seem to memorize quickly, read quickly, and understand new concepts quickly. you especially love history and reading, but are also very good at math and science.

--you have the most amazing thick, curly hair! everyone wishes they had your hair and you get quite a few comments on it.

--you wear a size 9 1/2 shoe.

--you love to talk to us and still like to get hugs and kisses. I sure hope this continues throughout your teen years!

Kohler you have been such a source of wonder and joy in your dad's and my life--we can't imagine life without you. You have been a great kid for us to learn parenting on! I have no worries about you for the future. You're a good kid with a good head on your shoulders, and you will go far in life. I can't wait to see what the next 13 years bring!

Love, Mom

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