May 9th (I know, I'm a few...ok, 10...days behind) marked FIVE YEARS since we landed in the United States with K'Tyo. He's now been part of our family for longer than he wasn't, which is kind of hard to fathom at this juncture because I cannot imagine life without him in it.
Just recently, we discovered that he needs glasses for school (he can still get by without them for sports). When we were at the eye doctor's & found out we would be picking out frames, he looked at me so serious, and slightly worried, and said, "Mom, will you help me pick some that look good?" Bless him. You can't see in the picture, but these are very cool because the inside of the frames is bright green. I think he looks great in them!
Soccer continues to be a favorite activity for K'Tyo, and it's been a great tool for drawing parallels with the game of life. He just finished his first outdoor season with a travel team & we could not be more proud of the character he has shown. A coach from another team tracked down our phone number to call & commend K'Tyo on his sportsmanship. During our game with that team, one of their players was hurt during the game. When the game was over, K'Tyo took it upon himself to go see if the player was doing okay. He is a serious competitor and plays with his whole heart, but he knows that when it's all said and done, people matter.
He is also a good teammate, celebrating when another has success and encouraging others along the way. Last week I arrived to pick him up from practice a little early. They were running ladders, which can be exhausting. K'Tyo has pretty good endurance when it comes to running & tends to finish at the head of the pack. When he finished, one of his teammates had just gotten to the opposite end of the field & was alone. Without being prompted to do so, K'Tyo took off down the field again, gave him a pat on the back, & led the way back. What a privilege to see him growing, learning, & experiencing so many things!
This past weekend, we got to witness his team come from behind in two tournament games to win the championship!! After the first game on Saturday, K'Tyo said, "Mom, we were losing, but we didn't give up. You shouldn't ever give up." That thinking served them well the next day when they found themselves behind again against a team they hadn't beaten during the regular season. Well, that & the fact that I remembered to kiss him on the forehead. You see, before all big games, I kiss the child on the forehead & tell him to play hard and have fun. Before the championship game, we were having a hard time parking, so we let him out of the car while we took another loop to find a space. I suddenly realized I didn't kiss him on the head! Well, I have no time to worry about what people might think, so I marched myself out during warm-ups & kissed my boy on the head! It's something we kind of joke about, but I share this because this really is an important thing. You see, I've realized that in all the moments of playing catch up for his first 4.5 years of life with rules and words and how-to's, the best thing we are learning is how to love each other. And when I kiss his head, he doesn't get all weirded out like you might think. He smiles with a knowing that I'm his biggest fan.