Dear Gray,

You’ve grown up in a house with sisters who are best friends. They play Barbies together and “animal school” and other games you don’t love so much. Luckily they also love sports and trampoline football and wrestling with you but you’ve never had a sibling to just lay on the floor and play “guys” with. You used to ask them to play with you when you were little but at some point you gave up asking. I think that’s why I tend to buy you new toys more often if you ask because I know you’re kind of on your own.

But buddy, you’re awesome at playing “guys” by yourself! You set them all up, either all over your room or the living room as you’ve never really liked playing in the actual playroom, you start playing and that’s when I hear them.

The sound effects.

The best sound effects I’ve ever heard. Your preschool teachers once told me that in all their years of teaching they’d never heard a little boy so good at making sound effects. It was a funny thing to be proud of but my heart swelled that day! My kid. The best at sound effects! Other people have commented over the years about how good you are and I’m so glad my days of hearing all the booms and crashes aren’t over yet.

There are so many things I already miss about your babyhood, the challenging toddler years and the fun preschool years. You are growing up so fast Bubba. You really are. But every time I hear a “shhhhhhhhhhhPOW!” come from the other room I smile and cherish it all. Every sound. Every guy scattered from here to there. Every retelling of your epic battles. All of it. Sometimes I have to tiptoe in quietly just to watch so I can soak it all in.

I love you Bubs.