I love this picture of Drew.
He looks tough and vulnerable at the same time.
He looks like he is getting older, but also looks like a little boy.
I am so lucky to be Drew's mom.
He is a great boy who is always willing to try new things, play hard, and take risks. He has a tender heart and is compassionate. He possesses so many qualities that will serve him well in the future.
Happy Birthday Drew!
Below is a picture of Drew that I NEVER thought I would condone.
I was the mom who didn't want her son to play with toy guns.
I waited as long as I possibly could to allow Nerf guns in our home.
I would even judge other families who let their kids play with toy guns and run around all "wild."
Then, I had a little boy. And he grew. And his personality was different than my daughter's (and mine). The game changed a bit.
So...here is Drew yesterday. He turned 12 and was very excited to have a paintball adventure birthday party. We have never been to a paintball place. We drove about 20 miles out of town and arrived at a boy's paradise - fields with obstacles, a giant castle with a roof to perch yourself on to act as a sniper and protect your "flag," and of course, lots of woods to hide in while shooting.
Please don't judge me...like I said, I was originally horrified by the idea, but I have to tell you, while I watched the boys (and the sheer joy on their little faces) it looked like a lot of fun (and I imagine that if I was a 12 year old boy it would have looked even more fun).
I was so happy to be able to throw this party for Drew. He was super excited. I can also tell you that his six friends that came to the party were also VERY excited. It is not every day that you are allowed to wear old clothes, carry a weapon and shoot your friends for fun.
Here the boys are loading up their guns for the first time.
The boys trying to look "tough."
The boys looking "tough." - sort of reminds me of Star Wars or something.
The party involved a private "guide" that took the boys to various courses to play all sorts of action/adventure games. Drew's first "hit" came from his dad. When the weapons fire, they really make noise and I have to admit that watching the boys get pelted was sort of strange. I knew getting hit hurt by the reactions of the boys...they always acted tough, but the instant the were shot, bruising and red marks appeared (proving the weapons really did deliver some force). Drew got a pretty good bruise from his dad's shot during the first game.
There were all sorts of obstacles for the boys to hide behind.
Bryce and Grace were obviously not allowed to play (the place has really strict age limits and does a good job of making it a safe activity). They spent the whole time gathering paint balls off the ground. The paint balls were like little treasures to them. Did you know that they come in all sorts of colors and designs? Neither did I.
Reloading. Still smiling even though some have been "hit."
Here are the boys after they survived two hours of shooting. Notice the paint on their clothes. Notice the sweat on their brows. A good time was had by all. I think Doug had just as much (if not more) fun than the boys. I could definitely see a father/son follow up adventure with some of his friends in the future.
Drew and Sam showing off a couple of their injuries. This sport is not for the moms who are worried about a few marks and bruises...Drew's leg looks terrible today, but he is wearing it like a badge of courage.
Happy Birthday Drew!
What a great party!