As the baby of the family he is an especially lucky boy. Beyond doting parents there are three older siblings to shower him with the affection, homework help, treats and older friends to admire.
The child fairly always affixed to my hip for the first five years has grown and developed a wonderful personality. He is patient when I want to monopolize his time.
He has a tremendous sense of humor, is wise beyond his years, a silly second-grader and lover of potty humor.
His mind works very much like Max's. The wheels are always turning and connections are constantly being made. His math skills are sharp and he loves to read. If you think a work ethic can't exist in an 8-year old you've never met Henry. The first to grab his shovel when mulch is deliver (to anyone), he loves to build things and is always up for home improvement projects.
A miniature Doug, he has a wonderful imagination and amazing capacity to remember movie plots and characters. I can't believe this tiny shadow will every top out at 6'2" like his Dad. Oh, did I mention the mile wide stubborn streak?
I've learned a lot from Henry in the last eight years. He's taught me lighten up and that dirty little boy fingernails aren't such a big deal. I appreciate every moment I have with him, with all of them, in a way I wasn't mature enough to before. Hen is a bit of all of us rolled into one. Sometimes a contradiction. Out going, shy. Strongly attached, fiercely independent. Serious, hysterical. Hard-working, unable to put his laundry away.
On the birthday of our little toe-head, I realize the gifts he's given each of us. A constant companion, a playmate, a kindred spirit and someone to be responsible for.
I've learned they don't always need to be carried, there is time for a game of Zingo before school and vacum-sealed jerky sticks can be a birthday treat. (ugh)
Happy, Happy Birthday Henry!