My grandnephew, Ethan Hadlock is just growing up so fast…in more ways than one. He is in his last year of middle school, which means this is his final semester of 8th grade. The fact that he is going to be in high school next year would probably be more shocking to people were it not for his size. Ethan is on track to stand around 6 foot 5 inches or so, like his dad, Ryan Hadlock and his grandpa, Chris Hadlock. He isn’t there yet, of course, but he is taller than most 8th grade boys, making him look like a high school student already. His parents are finding it difficult to keep him in jeans these days. He not only outgrows them, but the waist to length ratio is hard to find. Right now, he wears a 29/34…and is quickly heading for 29/36. Another fact that I find surprising, is that Ethan is already growing a mustache!! When a guy can do that in middle school, it is always shocking. It just doesn’t seem like that should be happening with a middle school boy, but there it is…literally!!

Ethan has been having great time expanding his horizons. He is playing percussion in band and is very much enjoying that. He comes from a musical family, so his talent in that area is not surprising. Another area in which Ethan has shown himself to be exceptional is in the area of leadership. In fact, his leadership has been so noticed that he was just selected for the Junior National Young Leadership Conference in Washington DC. We are all so proud of Ethan. He is a kind person and a natural leader. Ethan has long exhibited leadership capabilities, so while I’m surprised about the DC tri, it is only because I didn’t know kids his age went on these things. For Ethan to be chosen is not really surprising at all. That is just how Ethan is.

Ethan got a nerf gun for Christmas and has been playing with it a lot. While lots of kids would shoot the nerf bullets at other people, Ethan is the exception to that rule. He doesn’t shoot at people, a fact that shows maturity, and it makes me proud of him. Ethan is such a sweet young man. He cares about those around him…especially his little sister, for whom he has always been a guardian angel. He loves his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, and his great aunts and uncles. He never hesitates to give a hug when he greets them. He doesn’t care if they who sees him. He’s not shy about expressing his love for his family…they are very important to him. And he is very important to all of us too. Today is Ethan’s 14th birthday. Happy birthday Ethan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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