Dear H, 7 Years Old

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Dear H,

When I used to have only girls, people would often knowingly smile and tell me how easy I had it. If I only had a boy, they explained, I would understand what it would be like because a boy wouldn't color neatly at the table, would run around like a terror, and would have trouble sitting quietly in church services. Now that I am the mother of a boy, I am baffled by these comments.

Thanks to you, I've come to realize that parenting a young boy is one of the best gifts in the world. You are a smart, witty, and kind gentleman with impeccable manners and delightful conversation skills.

At the dinner table, you sit with perfect posture and amuse us with your anecdotes from the day. You love sharing opinions, asking questions, and listening with grave interest to the various subjects that your older sisters bring up. You are quick to say "thank you for this wonderful meal."

At church, you insist on wearing a blazer or button-up with a dressy sweater. You wouldn't dream of wearing athletic shorts or sweat pants. During the service, you take notes in your best cursive or doodle on the bulletin without ever complaining or fidgeting. In fact, we can take you to any concert or production without blinking. You have perfect theatre etiquette and love to see shows of all kinds. This could have something to do with your love of music. You are entranced by live orchestras and sometimes even joyfully "conduct" from your seat, moving your arms in perfect sync with the rhythm.

As for hobbies, you enjoy any of the activities that boys would have done in bygone years - hiking, camping, splashing in creeks, exploring outdoors, building clubhouses, riding bikes, and taking care of animals. You also love ping pong, road trips, arts and crafts, legos, magna-tiles, die cast cars, and dressing up in costumes (police, fire, detective, cowboy) to defeat a variety of foes.

Some experts say that a first-born son takes on many of the traits of a first-born, even if he is not the oldest. This seems to ring true for you. You and your oldest sister have much in common in that you are a perfectionist (sometimes to a fault) and are meticulous about both cleanliness and organization. In fact, you keep your room in tip-top condition and tidy it regularly, without being asked. When I walk by the bedrooms, yours is inevitably the neatest. (You also enjoy taking hot showers - every other day at the very least - no prompting needed).

Our whole family would agree: you are a bright spot in our house and in our lives. We can't wait to see where God leads you in the coming years.

With love from,


  • 1st grade has been a great year for you! Your teachers are warm and wonderful grandmotherly women, which suits your personality well. Your math skills are still outstanding and your cursive is magnificent.
  • When we go to stores that sell flowers, you often ask if we can buy a bouquet.

* I write letters to each of my children on their birthdays so that they will remember and I won’t forget. As Sheldon Vanauken so aptly put it, “Writing has something of the timeless about it – a breath of eternity.” 

©2024 Stephanie Sheaffer - All Rights Reserved
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