Here are some pictures from Bear's birthday party:
As you can see, there was much silliness, and cake, and a few presents.
We enjoy having an 11-year-old in the house. Bear has not lost his quick smile and laugh, but now he has a pre-teen's wry sense of humor to go along with it. He is as kind and generous as ever (well, except on occasion with his sisters). He is introspective and asks a lot of good questions. He is also trying out more adult roles -- like jumping into adult conversations. Sometimes that turns out fine, sometimes not. The other day he spent an afternoon volunteering at the Winona Catholic Worker -- scrubbing shelves in the pantry at the Dan Corcoran House, which we hope to reopen to families in the fall. I also see a new patience and maturity in him when it comes to doing things that he doesn't like to do, like chores and summer homework. A lot less complaining and foot-dragging, and a lot more can-do attitude.
Bear is also our entrepreneur. He is still looking for ways to make money, driven largely by his voracious appetite for new electronic gadgets and games. He is not shy about asking to be paid for extra work, or hitting up other adults for ideas about how he can make money. We'll have to see how to encourage him on that path. Someone around here needs to make some money!
We do love our eleven-year-old!