It is hard for me to communicate how proud I am of this boy. Even in the last few weeks, as I have seen him grow in new ways, I am amazed to be a part of his story over these last two years and a few months. For example, Andrew has offered unprompted apologies twice in the last couple weeks. This may seem like a small thing...but sincere apologies from a boy who spent a good piece of his early years geared for survival much more than moral development is a big deal to me! For the most part, Andrew loves to do the right thing. When he gets "caught" for something inappropriate, however, he has been prone to lock into "shame mode," which involves raising up strong defenses for self. For him to break out of that in order to offer an apology shows substantial growth in emotional empathy, moral development, self-worth, and trust.
What else can I tell you about our biggest boy? Well, he absolutely loves his hockey! He has been playing steady defense for the Aylmer Vikings this season. He is a determined player and an eager learner. He has shown a strong character in both winning and losing, too. The backyard rink also provides hours of fun for Andrew.
Andrew loves to talk and laugh (and talk and joke and talk and ask questions and talk...), and his siblings love when he plays with them. He is certainly a well-looked-up-to big brother! As you can see in this picture, Abby especially adores him!
Andrew is a hard-working student in Grade 3 this year. This is his first year in the French Immersion program. Making this transition has not been easy for Andrew, but he continues to work very hard and is glad to be making progress. He got 100% on his last two dictées, and he is picking up multiplication very quickly!
We call Andrew our Champ because we see him as one who is willing to take on whatever challenges present themselves and to just keep on fighting through--whatever it takes. Just today, he got a tough hit in gym class volleyball and ended up with a tooth nearly through his upper lip -- note the lopsided smile below :) -- but he was mostly concerned, not with the pain, but with stopping the bleeding so that he could get back in the game. That's Andrew.
Happy Birthday, Champ! You are dearly loved!