What a year it has been! I cannot believe how much you have grown over the last year, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. You continue to show a sweet tenderness that is uncharacteristic of many men, young or old. You have a genuine love for people, especially little ones, and you work so hard to make people feel included.
I have seen so many great character strengths developing in you, and nowhere are they quite as apparent as during these last two seasons of basketball. We jumped into a new team in the fall, and neither of us what quite certain what to expect. At first you didn't think you had what it took-you were afraid you weren't strong enough or tough enough. You were so tired after practices. But I wouldn't let you quit and instead of complaining you threw yourself into the high school season-as an 8th grader! You started out by barely playing, and you never took a shot. But by the end of the season you scored several times and surprised even yourself by being a valuable member of the team. Neither one of us realized that the middle school season would be next, but you developed relationships with many new teammates and showed yourself to be a leader. Not because you thought of yourself as being worthy to be in charge, but because you showed yourself to be a teachable team player who was interested in everyone improving. You were a starter for most of the season-a tough one where you stayed humble and invested. You demonstrated a sportmanslike attitude and acquitted yourself well with both teammates and coaches.
Not only were you a great basketball player, but you continued to love and serve your friends and family. Katy says that you and all the little boy cousins are "Carson and the Carsonettes". You are Harry's favorite, and whenever he is around you two are practically inseparable. You truly care for and take care of him. You are the best at putting him to sleep and he will jump out of other people's arms to get to you. Your relationship is so sweet.
And you always make me feel loved, too. You tell me I'm "the best mom ever" and I can't tell you what that means to me. You know when I am feeling down, and you really try to make me feel better. You don't mind spending time with me, and some of my favorite memories will always be chatting with you about the deep questions in life while driving to practice or a game. I love your inquisitiveness, and I never get tired of answering your questions. You love to share fun new facts with me that you have learned and I like to hear how you are expanding your worldview.
I love who you are. You are a godly young man that really understands that one of the very best ways to serve Christ is by loving people. You are always a welcome member of any group, and it is easy to see why. I am so glad that I get to be your mom. I hope 14 is an amazing year for you. I love you so much.
Larry (Your current nickname for me)