Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Meet Addison

By now, you're familiar with Lauren and Brennan's stories, but I haven't introduced you to Addison, our oldest -- and she definitely shouldn't be left out! Addison is an amazing little girl in her own right, but unlike the other two, not because of health issues.

Addison was born while we lived in Germany. While we were there, we traveled all over Europe and dragged her with us. She's stood atop Roman ruins, seen the gargoyles of the Notre Dame up close, toured Mad Ludwig's Neuschwanstein castle that inspired the Disney Cinderella castle, and been to a traditional Christmas market in the snow...and doesn't remember a bit of it.

She started reading when she was about 4. In Kindergarten once, when the teacher had lost her voice, she asked Addison to read the Story Time story to the class. Now she reads anything she can get her hands on -- and fast. She's read most of the Harry Potter books in the space of about 2 days each. In the middle of her first grade year, we made the reluctant decision to start homeschooling, because we had lost confidence with the school and her teacher (that's an entirely different long story!). She absolutely loved it, and so we've never looked back! She has really enjoyed her history lessons. She really liked the Civil War study we did last year, and we had some pretty interesting discussions on military and political strategy as we toured the ten largest battlefields in the Eastern Theater.

Addison actually reminds me a lot of her mother. In addition to reading everything, she likes her space. Her bedroom is in the basement of the house, and she would be just fine to go down and hide in her cave and rarely come up for air. If she had a refrigerator down there, I'm not sure if we'd ever see her again! Unfortunately, like her mother, this also translates into not being overly affectionate. This has been one of our challenges over the years since I am a very huggy, affectionate person -- as is her brother (who frequently doesn't catch the warning signs to stop). In fact, my perception is that Addison and I were never overly close until I deployed for 4 months in 2004. Strangely -- and happily -- for me, when I got back, our relationship had changed. She's still not a huggy, affectionate person -- and never will be -- but we are tight now...and I like it!

Ironically, even though she craves all-by-myself time, she's a very social person. She's friendly with everyone, and very popular. She loves spending time with her long as she gets the decompression time by herself afterward. She loves particpating in the church's kids' programs, like puppet shows and choreography numbers. She's also a fashion expert. It's pretty sad when parents consult their kids on what clothes to buy...

I'm not sure I know a more responsible 10-year-old, either -- another quality like her mother. Because we're frequently short on time, we don't always have the time to think through everything like we would like -- simple things, like reminding the kids to take stuff to do with them as we're on our way out the door, or reminding her to learn her memory verses for church, or reminding her to take her medicine every day. Addison's always on top of it. While that's been a great help to us, we've come to rely on it...and expect it...and that makes me sad. She's been put through a lot for a 10-year-old. She didn't ask for this, but she's been given this lot anyway. Don't get me wrong, Brennan's had to deal with a lot as well, but we've necessarily shouldered a lot of responsibility on Addison. And, unfortunately, just like the military, if you do well at something, you get more of it. She has truly been a Godsend, though -- quite literally. She does it all, complaining only minimally, and doesn't appear to be emotionally scarred. God is doing a great work in her, too. I can only imagine how well grounded she will be as she grows up. I could not be prouder of her!


  1. Isn't it amazing how God puts just the right person in your life to help carry that burden - even if it IS a 10 year old young woman!
    She is a delight to be around ( I loved it when we taught classes and she always had the calm, correct answers!)

    Definitely someone to be proud of!
    What a blessing ALL of your children are!

  2. You guys are so very blessed in more ways than you know.
    You are such an inspiration to me and to others.
    Thank you so much for sharing your family with us. I hope I have a chance to meet all these wonderful blessings at some point.

    Take care!!