Today is my son Camden’s 9th birthday. Camden is the middle of my three kids and has been a big joy in my life.

This year, I started writing down what I appreciated about my kids on their birthdays. It’s been a fun exercise for me. I wrote similar posts for my 11-year-old back in April and for my 7-year-old last Sunday on their birthdays.

As I reflect on Camden’s nine years on Earth, here are some things I appreciate about him:

1) He’s a miniature version of me. It’s almost uncanny. When I look at pictures of me at his age, we look the same. All of my kids look like me somewhat but he carries most of my facial characteristics. I jokingly call him “Little Jay” and tell him I should have named him Jay Jr.

Here's Cam standing next to some photos of me at my grandma's house.

Here’s Cam standing next to some photos of me at my grandma’s house.

2) His love of all kinds of tape, especially duct tape. Give him a roll of duct tape and he’ll entertain himself for hours. We’re always finding things around the house covered in tape.

3) He loves to tinker and build things. See #2 above or #5 below. We think we have a future engineer on our hands. He’s always in my garage asking me to help make him build something. I’m always finding scrap pieces of wood around the yard where he tried to make something. I have a fond memory of a family vacation to the beach when Camden was five. He tied a rope from his raft to a shovel that he buried in the sand as an anchor. Then he sat on the raft and wouldn’t go too far out in the water because of the anchor. I thought it was really smart for such a young kid. I even set up a little work bench for him in my garage to work on his “projects.”

This is a remote-controlled truck that Camden took apart. He planned to take apart several of these and put them all together into one big truck.

This is a remote-controlled truck that Camden took apart. He planned to take apart several of these and put them all together into one big truck.

4) He marches to the beat from his own drummer. He does everything on his own time (or at least it feels that way). It’s not a big deal until we want him to do something like put on his shoes or get out of the car. It can be extremely frustrating at times.

5) He loves playing with LEGO. The kid is always walking around the house with LEGO in his hands. This is definitely a passion that I’ve encouraged over the years. Camden has had some really awesome sets over the years. Too bad, he can’t keep a set together. He’s lost more mini-figs than the average kid has ever owned. I know some day when we go to move out of our house, we’ll find a huge secret stash of LEGO somewhere.

6) He makes me laugh. He’s got a unique sense of humor. As of I’ve said before, I’m amazed at how different each of my three kids are from each other. They all bring me joy in their own unique ways and make me laugh on a daily basis. Camden has a goofy personality and you can’t help but laugh at some of the things he says or does.

camden-humor

7) He really likes super heroes, especially Batman. Batman has always been one of my favorites as well. When he was younger, we used to buy him Imaginext Batman figures. They were really the only toys he ever played with. I guess it was my way of re-living my youth when I played with G.I. Joe.

8) He enjoys playing video games. His favorite games are Minecraft and the LEGO Batman series. I love video games myself and it’s hard for me to discourage my kids from playing them. Of course, there are times when my kids become a little too obsessive about them. My hope is that we can continue to find a happy balance and limit how much “screen time” our kids get.

playing-with-batman

Camden, Ethan and I played with some Batman toys a few weeks ago.

9) He doesn’t seem interested in sports. Camden has played basketball, soccer and flag football over the years. He always seemed to tolerate what was going on around him. I really enjoy playing and watching sports but I would never pressure any of my kids to get into sports if they didn’t want to. We can always find other common interests to share together.

I’m so thankful that Camden is in my life and I can’t wait to see him grow into a young man.

Happy Birthday, Camden!

Here's Camden with his OREO birthday cake (made by my lovely wife).

Here’s Camden with his OREO birthday cake (made by my lovely wife).

 

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