1. I love that you're all about family. I love that you think 5 is a 'big family,' and you love your spot as the oldest. You haven't outgrown playing with your little brother and sister. You're so kind to them and they're lucky to have you.
2. You're just like your dad: selfless, selfless, selfless. Everyone else comes first. You'll always take the color, flavor (or whatever) that nobody else wants. You're going to make an amazing husband and father. Just like your dad.
3. You're tight with your money and always talk about saving for college. You talk about moving to Florida after high school and studying to become a meteorologist. You even talk about what your first apartment will be like and all the things you'll buy for it. Motivation. I like that.
4. You just started playing the recorder in 4th grade this year. You're the worst recorder player I've ever heard.
5. You're just plain cool. You're one of those boys that will run up to a fence and vault over it with one hand. I always wanted a boy like that.
6. You play soccer, basketball, football and baseball. You're good at every sport and anything physical.
7. You're a huge help around the house. You sort and wash everyone's socks, unload the dishwasher and vacuum the kitchen floor. I love having older kids. It gets better every year.
8. You hold the door open for strangers. And I don't even ask you to.
9. I love how you can run into a convenience store by yourself and bring me back a drink. Big kids are awesome. Nothing better.
10. I love your sense of humor. You're pretty hysterical. You get my jokes and I get yours.
11. When you lose, you do it graciously. Even if it's to your little brother.
12. You tell your sister she's beautiful.
13. Before I was married and had kids, whenever I'd see a tween boy carrying a toddler I'd melt into a little puddle. I always wondered if I'd have that type of family. (The reality far surpasses the dream).
14. Styrofoam freaks you out. It's pretty fun to mess with you.
15. You've become picky about what you wear. I like that.
16. I love when you get in the van after school and ask your sister, "How was your day, Livs?" And you're genuinely interested in the answer.
17. I love how you load the groceries in the back of the van after we're done shopping. I never even ask. I love how when it's windy or cold you'll say "just get Livia in the car, mom. I'll put the cart back."
18. Every school year your teachers tell me "if only I had a classroom of Collin's..."
19. You have a knack for sensing my mood, when I'm grumpy or having a yucky mom moment. You'll come up and give me a hug and say "I love you." You'll even ask if there's anything you can do. (How did I get so lucky?!)
20. You get embarrassed when we walk through the junk food aisle at the store. You're afraid someone will see us and judge us, even if we're not buying anything from that aisle. You love when we have tons of bags of produce in our cart. Funny, I feel the same way.
21. Of my 3 kids, you're my look-alike child. You're a clone of me and everyone says so.
22. Here's the best one. Every Easter we have an egg hunt in the backyard and we put a quarter in all the eggs. In 8 special eggs we hide a $10 bill, two $5's and five $1's. In a total coincidence, this year you ended up with the $10, both of the $5's and 2 of the $1's. Drew only got $1 and Livia got $2. You got $22. As the little kids were still opening the rest of their eggs, you slipped out into the backyard to hide 2 eggs. You called Drew and Livia to go out and see if they could find them. There was a $5 bill in each one for your brother and sister. (insert tears)
Collin, you're a great kid, a wonderful brother and I'm so proud that you're mine!! Love you lots!! xo