Once upon a time, there was a little girl who adored her big sister.
And her big sister grew up, fell in love, and brought the little girl a new big brother. She couldn't have been more delighted, and she loved the two with every fiber of her being.
And one magical day, these two made the chubbiest, happiest little ray of sunshine the girl had ever known, and they called him Alexander, or "A," as he called himself.
Well, little A, you are turning eleven today, and I can't imagine a smarter, handsomer, more wonderful 11-year old on the planet. You give my little man someone to look up to, and I'm hoping that someday he aspires to be a little mix of you and Conner - brains, spunk, and charm.
I remember when you were just a baby, and you used to put your mouth on my nose, not to bite me, but just to rest. And then I would open my mouth and you would put your nose right in for me.
When your mommy and daddy let me babysit for you, I would put lotion in your hair and give you a mohawk.
You used to stand on the tiled area by the fireplace and make us all sit down on the couches, and before we could even understand what you were saying, you'd preach a rousing sermon to all of us, and then make us stand and lead us in a little song.
I taught you to say, "Rock and roll, baby!" when you were just old enough to make sentences, and you would shout it out with delight, as if you really knew what it meant.
And then you started to get bigger, and became the sweetest big brother to Conner, and then Chloe. Your mom and I would dress you up in your Halloween frog costume year-round, until it just didn't fit anymore, simply because you looked so adorable (and we made Conner the little bumblebee).
You went to school, and started impressing everyone who knew you with how smart and friendly you are. You became quite the legend at Trout Elementary, and then at Brookhollow, too. You won awards, you stole the show as the smartest kid in the Christmas program, you devoured every book you could get your hands on, you even got commended on all three of your TAKS tests! And in the midst of all of that, you stayed humble and caring.
And now you're headed to middle school, and I just can't believe how time has flown. Alex, I couldn't be more proud of you, couldn't love you any more than I already do, couldn't imagine what my life would have been like without my chubby little ray of sunshine turned boy genius.