Aidan Turns 12 in the Netherlands

I’m still working on finishing up our Portugal entries, but in the meantime, we’ve had another birthday in our house.  This time for Aidan!  It’s hard to believe this kid is now 12!! That’s now 7 birthdays celebrated abroad. Like with Liam, I’m blown away by that number.  Not to mention the fact that my baby is now 12!!

He’s not a little boy any more.  He’s in his last year of his tweens.  Next year is a big one. He’s almost as tall of me and I can just imagine what his next growth spurt will be like – I’m not ready for my baby to be taller than me!  Every moment that goes by, I’m in awe of him and all that he accomplishes.  The skills that he has achieved by age 12 blow me away constantly.  Maybe I would have fared much better in college (and saved my parents a lot of money) if I’d had these skills when I was in middle school.

He has drive.  He has ambition.  He is curious and wants to know how everything works and how he can change the future.  Now it’s a matter of taking that knowledge and applying it to something great!

This past year has been one full of new challenges – with a new school, junior high, and all the responsibility that comes with that switch from elementary school to secondary school!  And he has risen to the occasion and gone above and beyond our expectations. School is hard for him, but it doesn’t stop him from working hard and doing the best that he can.

 

Beyond school, he’s taken up baseball.  He’s been playing pitcher and short stop and I’d like to say we are impressed with how well he is playing, but it’s not a surprise with his natural athleticism.  His coach was surprised that this American kid had never played baseball before, but having lived abroad most of his life, there had never been the opportunity until now.  In addition, he’s now in his 9th year of playing tennis!

I love just sitting down with Aidan and chatting with him.  Up until this week, he’s had half days every Monday.  At first I hated this schedule – both kids had a half day each which meant less time for me to get things done. But I’ve learned to embrace it and recognize that it gave me a chance to spend quality time with each of the kids, alone.  I’m really sad that Aidan’s change of schedule means we no longer will have our Mondays.  But I will treasure the days that we have together when we can just hang out.

Aidan has always been a mature, grown up kid – a mini adult.  But it’s been even more obvious in this last year.  A foodie at heart as well, he’s constantly expanding his palate, another sign of his maturity.  He’s polite, social and gets along great with both adults and kids.  He’s also a typical boy, into sports, shooting games and nerf guns!

His birthday was during the school week, just after the 2 week holidays.  So he was a bit bummed about that.  Now that he’s in junior high, there is no bringing cupcakes to school, so instead I brought them for his baseball team!  He seemed to enjoy that and the whole team sang “happy birthday” to him (in English no less!).  He opened presents that morning and seemed overall happy with the loot – though he’s getting harder to buy for the older he gets.  We are still waiting for the new basketball hoop which was delayed (should be here this week).  The school day itself was lackluster he told me, but a happy day nonetheless.  We were going to go out for dinner that night to a new tapas restaurant in the Vesting but instead, he asked for steak on the grill which we were happy to accommodate!

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I’m looking forward to what 12 brings. I know we are on the cusp of puberty and that the next few years are likely to be “challenging” so I’m going to enjoy this time before he’s too cool to hang out with his mom 😉  Happy birthday Aidan!!!!

Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

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