Happy 8th Birthday to My Bode-man!

“This is what it’s like to be a king.” While eating your unlimited corn dogs at Elitch Gardens’ VIP preview party

Dear Bode,

I can’t believe you’re turning 8! This is a huge deal: You will soon be baptized, start Cub Scouts and enter third grade. Every year you grow to be more fun, smart and endearing. Though you’re becoming independent, you always take the time to snuggle up to your mom and shower me with love and kisses–just not around your buddies because you are, after all, a boy’s boy and have to save face with them. Except for when you saw a golf-ball-sized bee, in which case all of you “ran away in terror.” Your words, not mine.

You enjoy playing soccer every fall and spring, basketball in the winter, racing down the ski slopes, jamming on the piano, riding your bike, snuggling (read: mauling) Fat Kitty and growing giant pumpkins (your beast was 420 pounds last season). You are torn between being highly disciplined and loving video games like Minecraft while agonizing that they’re not good for you so have settled on a reasonable schedule so “I don’t get addicted.”

A parent-less week at Camp Chief Ouray

The other day you told me that when you are a dad, you will have your kids give you 50% of what they earn. When I responded that seemed like a lot and would you like me to take half of what you make, you had to reconsider. You ultimately decided 1/4 and then 1/8 of future earnings was more amenable so I look forward to my future kid taxes.

When I started boot camp this year from 6:30-7:30 a.m., I worried about you and your sister being responsible enough to get ready yourselves but I need not have fretted. In fact, you set your alarm clock early because you like to be “extra prepared” and that rings true in everything in your life. Your second grade teacher tracked all good and bad behavior by tallying up “Class DoJo points” and wouldn’t you know it, you were the very top of your class at year’s–in grades and behavior. The comments from your teachers on your report card ranged from “he is a joy,” to a “role model” and I beam with pride in knowing that you’re a good, selfless person and are always looking out for others first. A classic example is that Hadley hates the lemon-flavored gummy vitamins, and even though you don’t like them either, you always trade with her so she doesn’t have to eat them. That, my friend, is love.

A few years ago, I threw your dad a surprise 40th birthday party and you begged for us to do the same for you. We figured your 8th birthday was an important one so we rented a 32-foot mobile video game theater from Rolling Video Games Denver, had 14 of your besties hide in it and surprise you. Of course, you were shocked and then elated, repeating “I had no idea.” Your sheer joy will likely only be comparable to your wedding day and maybe the birth of your firstborn child. So long as its name is Steve. If you love Minecraft, you’ll totally get the reference.



The Motley Crew

You’re a numbers person and thrive in goal-setting while tracking your progress. Dad challenged you to read a pretty lofty amount of scripture before you are baptized in Aug. and you cranked it out in a few weeks. When I ask you to do something, you do it without questioning my motives, which is a far cry from when you were three and we had you clean out the ditch in the backyard. Not only did you revolt and cry, you made up a secret language you heatedly muttered under your breath as you worked, which sounded an awful lot like preschooler swear words.

Obsessive sand castle builder, Maui

We’ve had a fabulous year of travel: The AAA Five-Diamond Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and multiple ski trips. I was so proud when you delved right in as the sled’s driver when we dog-sledded in Breckenridge and had a blast spending Christmas in Utah. Last summer you, Hadley and I did a 3,000-mile trip that covered two countries and seven states (Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah) and we’re currently in the middle of that same adventure because apparently we weren’t crazy enough the first time. We recently returned from Disneyland and Maui, which basically means this was our best travel year ever.

You recently returned from a week at Camp Chief Ouray in the mountains and I love that you are always ready to delve into new discoveries. You recently announced to me how much you love road trips and I couldn’t wait to hear the reason. Was it the prospect of discovering a new far-flung destination? Our fascinating conversations en route? Nope, it was because “I get to play unlimited video games while we’re driving” and that is why “getting there is half the fun” in your book.

Oh, and when I asked you where you dream destination is now that we’ve gone to Maui, you commented, “A place that doesn’t eat too much fish like Australia.” Hate to tell you, Dude, but it’s surrounded by water but I’m with you on boycotting seafood.

My favorite time with you is early in the morning when you curl up in bed with me and we sleepily talk about our dreams. I know you won’t be little forever so I cherish these moments. Just know that however big you are, your dreams will always be safe with me.




For a stroll down memory lane, birthday letters 1, 2, 3, 4 56, and 7 (though the pictures no longer show due to switching blog platforms).

Timbits birthday breakfast at the Lake House

Other Posts