will is 17!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Will turned 17 exactly 2 weeks ago.  I feel bad about not doing a birthday post earlier but I didn't for 2 reasons.  One is we barely saw him on his birthday and the other is that I think I am a bit in denial that I really have a 17 year old. (I've also been super busy working on some projects)

Will's birthday was the day after we got back from our family vacation.  Being a normal 17 year old, he wanted to hang out with his friends because he had hung out a whole week with us!  So, we went to church together and got his favorite kolaches but then he hung out with friends.  I have to admit, I was a bit sad/sour about that.  I totally get it but I wanted to do a family dinner or something.  Anyway, when Will got home that night he was kind of bummed.  He said that although he had fun with this friends, he wished he had spent the time with us.  He said he realizes he only has another 2 years at home and he wasted a birthday.  I told him it was not wasted and we'd have a family dinner that week (which we did the night before they left for camp).  It is hard to have family dinner (the whole family) in the summer because of Kate's gymnastics training and Will's work.


(this photo was Kate's idea:)

Will is such a neat kid.  He is spiritual and respectful.  He is very intelligent but has to work pretty hard at his current school.  Organization does not come naturally to him but he has worked so hard to be organized in high school (color coded calendar, study schedules and folders).  I am really proud of that. Not only does Will work all year as a lifeguard but he is also really involved at school. He is on swim team and water polo (was a captain on JV this year).  He is in the National Honor Society and several other clubs too.  He is also a freshmen retreat leader and part of a select core who actually plan the retreat.  Being a freshmen retreat leader at his school is a huge commitment and honor.  You have to apply and it is mostly seniors who are leaders. Will was selected as a junior. He has worked all year this year on it (the retreat happens in November) and has a weekend retreat next month for the leaders.

Will is also goofy and funny.  He is always asking how my day was.  He is confident (sometimes too much) and outgoing.  One of my favorite things about Will is that he really doesn't let things get to him.  He lets things roll off his back.  I could get really, really mad at him and yell and a few minutes later he says sorry and it is done.  He also does not let other people's criticism or insults bother him.  He shrugs it all off.  And because of all that he is usually in a good mood and is pretty even tempered.

He is an amazing volunteer.  His school has required volunteer hours and so does NHS.  But Will goes far above and beyond any required volunteer hours (even if he doesn't record them all!). He just likes volunteering and he is good at it too.  I always get tremendous feedback from the adults where he volunteers.  In fact, this summer he was supposed to work during our parish VBS.  Will switched his shifts so that he could volunteer instead.  I got the most amazing e-mail from a woman who was working at VBS complimenting both Will and Harry's leadership skills and telling me how kind and helpful and mature they both were.  Another Mom told me how much they stood out in a sea of uninspired teen volunteers because they were enthusiastic and really got the job done.  What Mom does not love to hear that stuff about her children?!


I always say that my kids are not perfect.  And Will is no exception.  But so far, he has made the teen years easy for us.  He is honest and respectful.  He is a rule follower and has a good moral compass.  I expect he'll make some mistakes but so far, he has been a joy to parent.


A few months ago, I was cleaning out a desk and I found this letter.  I wrote it to Will when he was just 22 months old.  I had not remembered writing it so it was such a gift to find. I read it to Will and he loved hearing it (and asked me to read it again).  This letter was not a birthday letter or anything special.  It was just me writing about Will when he was 22 months old.   I wrote about how he loved doughnut holes and the zoo.  I wrote about his favorite shows and books and things to play. What is interesting though is how accurate it is.  I wrote "You love water (although you call it "agua").  You run to hoses, sprinklers, puddles and water fountains.  I won't be surprised a bit if you are a great swimmer." And here 15 years later he is a swimmer!  there were so many other great things in the letter.  I encourage all of you Moms to take a few moments no matter how old your kids are and write them a letter like this.  Mine was on plain white lined paper.  It was not fancy at all. and it was just two pages long. It had mistakes but it was so full of love! I simply wrote about who Will was and what he meant to me. I know that he will cherish it forever and he will be able to look back on it when he has kids and see what he was like as a toddler.


So, my Will is growing up.  And I am so proud of who is is growing up to be.  I love you, Will!

And just to show you how much he's changed, this is the first photo ever of Will on this blog (almost 8 years ago).


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We've all aged a bit!

P.S.  About the clothes.  I will probably not be listing them until the last week of July or beginning of August.  Some things have come up around our house that required my immediate attention so I have not had time to get all the photographs done and the listings done. It is super time consuming. And we have some out of town guests coming to visit so I had to put the clothes away for a few weeks.  I apologize for the delay but will get back to it in a few weeks.


  1. Happy birthday to your son. He is really handsome and reading what you have explained about him, much more "handsome" inside.

  2. Awesome post. You are one good momma and he is one cute kid. Good Job Mom and Happy Birthday Will.

  3. Very sweet post. I love the letter writing idea!

  4. Oh Kim, he is so grown up! Good job to you and Dave on raising a good, Christian, compassionate man. Happy birthday Will!

  5. I also write letters and even included a Dr Seuss book that's titled "Oh the places you will go" and I have had each of her daycare teachers, elementary teacher, and every activity director of the programs she has participated in. I would love for her to read the sweet and funny comments her teachers have wrote to her. It's like having a YEAR BOOK but this one will span the entirety of her school attendance. I hope to keep this tradition throughout her entire 12years.

  6. I can't believe how grown and handsome Will is. He was always such a fun, gregarious and polite kid. Happy belated birthday Will. X

  7. Will is SO darling. I seriously read your blog so that I can receive any parenting lessons you write about and put them into my repetoire. Your boys (and Kate!) are such good examples of good kids. You and Dave are such great parents, Kim!!!

  8. Happy birthday to Will. You are truly blessed!

  9. I cannot believe how grown up he is! Happy birthday to your sweet boy. What a great mama you are- have been a reader for a long time! Love what a beautiful writer you are.
    -Linda, NY


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