To my precious Turner Cole,
Wow – I’m not even sure where to begin to talk about this unique year! One memory is that the beginning of your year as a 6 year old was hyper focused on one toy – Beyblades. You were a bit obsessed with collecting as many of these toys as possible, and you took them with you everywhere we went. Daddy even took you to compete in a Beyblade competition!
You were such a wonderful kindergarten student. I was so impressed with how quickly you learned to read (even though you said you didn’t enjoy it) and I noticed that you particularly seemed to like math. You even won kindergarten awards for leadership and PE. School went so well for you. When it was time for Spring Break, Daddy and I surprised you with another Disney Cruise! We told you that we were going to Florida to the zoo and to see the Braves play at a Spring Training game (which we did), but we didn’t tell you that we were going on the cruise until the day we boarded the ship. We love to surprise you any chance we get.
This cruise had a Marvel Day at Sea and it was SO MUCH FUN! You loved meeting all of the characters, and you particularly loved going to the kids club to play. We had the best time on this vacation and none of us wanted to leave. Unfortunately, while we were on the cruise, COVID-19 started to spread rapidly throughout the country. Our cruise ended up being one of the last Disney cruises that sailed for over a year. We are so thankful that we got to enjoy that time away before the country went into “lockdown.”
I could write a novel about the events that unfolded during the rest of 2020, as everything was dominated by COVID-19. We had no idea that when you left your kindergarten class for Spring Break that you wouldn’t get to go back. Schools were closed for the remainder of the year, so Daddy and I had to homeschool you for the last several weeks of your kindergarten year. We all quickly learned about Zoom meetings with teachers and all of the other technology that was needed to help you learn. Daddy and I were also both still working at our jobs full time, so we had some crazy busy days. You got WAY more screen time (tv, computer, phone, etc…) than I would have ever imagined this year.
I was so proud of the way you handled all of the the transitions that 2020 sent our way. One major change is that we couldn’t go to church in person, so we watched the services online. Gateway Church did an amazing job at their kids programming. In fact, when we were watching one of the videos on March 22nd, you told me that you said the prayer along with the teacher to accept Jesus into your heart! My heart almost exploded with joy! This is the best decision that you will ever make, my sweet son. I know you were only 6 years old when you prayed that prayer, but I believe that you understood what you were praying. I sincerely promise to you that I will do my very best as your mom to always make sure that Jesus is a priority in my own life and in our home. With God’s grace, I will lead you by example and help you to develop your relationship with Christ as you grow up.
During our time at home, we did our best to keep your days fun. A few of the activities that we did together were: taking walks to the neighborhood pond to see the family of ducks, sidewalk chalk art, cookie decorating, picnics in the car, coloring Easter eggs, puzzles, baking banana bread, and playing Uno. You and I also got hooked on a game on the phone – Tag with Ryan. It was fun to sit on the porch with you in the afternoons and just hang out playing that game together. Although you were such a trooper with everything, we had some challenges as well. There were some hard days filled with bad attitudes, crying, and a few slammed doors. My heart broke for you, as I knew it had to be so hard for you to process all of the feelings that came along with the changes we were all going through.
Thankfully, things started to get better once we were able to safely resume some of our normal activities. You started going back to KidStrong, and you always impressed me with your abilities in those classes. Eventually you went back to summer daycare at the Academy, and it was so refreshing for you to get to see your friends after so much time isolated at home. We also spent almost every single weekend of the summer at the pool at LifeTime. It was really our saving grace to get out of the house and do something fun. Your swimming skills improved so much this year, and you absolutely loved going down the slides over and over (and over!)
Although our summer was actually pretty fun (considering the circumstances), another struggle that we dealt with this year was your migraine headaches. You had them occasionally, and some were quite severe. We never knew when one was going to strike. We’re still trying to determine what’s triggering these awful headaches for you, and I pray that these are temporary. My heart hurts when I see you so sick and in pain. If I could take them from you, I would.
I am so thankful that you have been able to go back to in-person learning for first grade. You have a wonderful teacher (Megan Smith) and I am blown away by how much you are learning. This school year is so different due to COVID, but you’re making the best of it and you never complain about the restrictions. You love going to the Academy after school and to the kids club at LifeTime to play with other kids because your new obsession is Pokemon cards. Oh, how you love those cards! I don’t understand the game at all, but your life’s mission right now is to collect as many Pokemon cards as humanly possible. Every time you get hooked on a new toy, you go ALL IN with it. I’m curious how this trait will play out in your adult life, but I have to imagine it’s something that’s ingrained in you.
There are so many other things that I could talk about, but to wrap things up, I’ll throw in a few more quick memories: You love to dance (the floss is your favorite). You got a new baby cousin this year (Charlotte). We took a little vacation to a cabin in Broken Bow, OK and you loved the hot tub. We submitted your picture to the Atlanta Braves, and you were a cardboard cutout fan in the stands all season long! We got to go to Mississippi and see all of our family for Thanksgiving. You’re still a picky eater, but that’s okay. I was picky until my 30s.
Turner, you are the light of my life. Even on the most chaotic of days, I find such tranquility when we snuggle up to read a book at bedtime and then listen to our favorite worship playlist while you’re falling asleep. Please always remember how much I love you and how extraordinarily proud that I am of you. I always pray that God will keep you safe and that your heart will always be tender toward Him. I am so excited to see what the next year holds for you, sweet Turner. I love you with all of my heart.