TWELVE

And just like that, Cullen woke up this morning as a 12-year-old!

*****

His yearly interview:

Favorite food: Duck from a fancy restaurant

Color: Purple

Subject: Social Studies (but I’m really good at Math)

{Birth, OneTwoThreeFourFiveSix, Seven}

Biggest Accomplishment: Making the TC 2026 team (lacrosse)

Best part of the day: When school is over

Favorite song: Wave of You by the Surfaces

Favorite book: Maze Runner, but whatever book I’m reading at that time

Makes you laugh: Griffin (that’s two years running)

In my free time I: Lacrosse

Good at: Lacrosse

Dream college: UNC

Dream job: Sports player or an engineer

What makes you happy: Lacrosse and being with my family

Best memory from the past year: Lacrosse and basketball season, especially because I got to play basketball with so many friends

*****

Cullen, my darling,

I can’t believe you are 12 already, but at the same time watching you grow into the wonderful young man you are has been such an honor. We couldn’t be more proud of the person are becoming!

You continued this year on a hybrid school schedule and somewhere in the middle of it, I found myself so grateful for the extra time with you. Big kid years go by so fast and I know the next few will be no exception so having you around during the day a little bit longer is time I know I will never get back.

Speaking of school, you are crushing it. The other day you asked to check your grades and said “I have a 96 in math” – I replied “Good work!” and you looked up and said “That’s my lowest grade, I’m trying to get it higher, that’s why I checked.” You are able to focus despite the commotion of the brothers at home too, self manage your virtual schedule, and apparently are aiming for perfect scores.

As noted in your interview above, the biggest thing for you this year was lacrosse. After losing it last spring due to COVID, you jumped into a new club team last fall and were pulled up to play on the 7th grade team. That was big and scary for me and incredibly exciting for you. This spring, that team went up to the AAA division and between that and rec league, you are currently playing 6 days a week. It has been humbling and challenging playing with an older and very talented team, but you push yourself everyday to become a better player. When I asked you if you wanted to do anything special for your birthday your answer was “Get good playing time and win our playoff game this weekend” (so if anyone wants to send vibes that he gets his birthday wish, feel free to send that up.). I rarely find you without your stick in your hand and love that you love the game so much.

I love chatting with you on our way to HOCO games, even if I don’t really care how many triple doubles Russell Westbrook has or who the top AAA lacrosse team in Pennsylvania is, I promise I will always listen to all the stats because you find them interesting. You still love to read, are earning money by mowing lawns, introducing us to new music every day, and getting wittier by the second. You also still find lots of time to just be a kid and love exploring the woods, catching frogs and snakes, and running around the neighborhood with your crew of friends.

Above all else, my favorite thing about you is your heart. You are a wonderful big brother, super responsible and dependable, kind in your words and actions, and a friend to everyone. You are a quiet leader and competitive hard worker, but you also do everything you do with a smile on your face.

We love you so much and still can’t believe we were chosen to be the parents of such an amazing kid.

Keep growing so well, inside and out, my son.

Happy Birthday, Cullen James!

I love to hear from you!

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