The older you get, the more amazing you become. With your astonishing vocabulary has come a beautiful depth of emotion, and now you have words to express your frustration, sadness, joy, and pride. You are alternately silly and sweet, vibrant and vulnerable, marvelous and maddening. It is disorienting to realize you're developing your own opinions. These independent ideas are fun when your imagination skyrockets, and you decide to give everyone in the family train names; but they make life hard when you decide you don't want to listen to our directions.
And on top of all these changes, you've become a big brother, a role you have embraced with great relish. Your love for Shields Lee is evident, even when he frustrates you. How you delight in making him giggle and encouraging him in his development. It makes my heart so happy to hear you cheer for him, and my prayer is that throughout your lives, you will continue to celebrate him, even as we all celebrate you.
This year has been one of transition for our family, and we have indeed asked a lot of you. From sharing your parents with a sibling to relocating to ditching diapers, you've experienced a lot of changes this year. But you know what? You've been incredible with everything we've thrown at you.
Thank you, Levi Smith, for being so sweet, for keeping me humble, and for making us smile. We love you so much.