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The Complete Life Of Hunter Rayne Uriarte

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What's the Frequency Kenneth?

One of the most amazing things about this past year for Hunter has been his development of friends. I don't mean the kind of friends a 3 year old has because his mommy tells him to, but real friends, that come over and play, like a 4 year old.

Hunter has really grown up this year. We are past all those gooey moments of baby's firsts and on to the phase where Hunter knows what he thinks is cool. He put on his Addidas with rocket boosters and went right past Mickey Mouse and immediately to Iron Man, Super Heroes, Indian Jones Wii games and all things Star Wars. Mind you, he has never scene any of these movies but he knows older boys like these things.

This made for an interesting Halloween when Hunter decided to be Optimus Prime but also wanted to be Iron Man, Thor and Luke Sky Walker. I thought at one point we were going to have to go to four parties so he could dress in each costume but eventually he settled on the one costume. Definitely the most exciting moments came when Hunter went over to his friend JoJo's house to trick or treat.

Last year's Halloween, festooned with a Giant's World Championship, was overshadowed by the orange glow of baseball and we only went out for a short period of time. I don't think Hunter really understood what it was all about anyway. But this year he clearly gets it (and the huge bag of candy) because he really wanted to be with his friends more than anything. Watching he and Jo along with some kids from school dart in and of houses and up and down the street they looked like a pit crew at the Indianapolis 500 that someone had dipped in sugar. But there was nothing saccharine about his smile. You could see how proud he was to have friends to yell trick or treat with and sing silly songs about Bat Man's underwear.

Really I think that joy of friendship started at his birthday where we had the official transition from inviting our friends over to our house for some beer and pizza to having Hunter invite his friends over so they could play at his house. We rented a Bouncy House style Water Slide and let me tell you I had a great time. But it was so cool watching Hunter and Jacob and Parker and Kenneth and all his real friends play. I remember so many of my birthdays when I was younger were centered around the 49ers because they were winning so many Super Bowls during my formative years and the best ones were when my friends came over and we played games. It is so much fun watching him play like that.

He has had friends his whole life, of course, but these are friends he has had the chance to pick.

One great example of the former we got to visit over the summer when we visited Maddie and Meat in Spokane where we celebrated Maddie's birthday and went to Priest Island. There we got to go camping, boating and get sandy. Earlier in the year we had visited St. Thomas with Heather's family and he got to swim in an infinity pool and play cards and games on a beautiful deck of an amazing house on top of hillside over looking the water.

We began the year with a great trip skiing with Hunter's good friend Kenneth. Hunter took to skiing like he does everything else, with such ease it is if he were born playing sports. Kenneth and Hunter are such good buds now we hear from Kenneth's parents about excited Kenneth is to see Hunter on days when they are not planning to see each other. And then when they are together they smoothly play with Cars cars or whatever toys they can find. It is fun to see them wrestling or laughing at Cars 2, or to hear Hunter yell: Awesome!

We also got visit Heather's family in Minnesota for an early Thanksgiving where we had a wonderful time which we will cherish forever. Hunter got to play with his grandparents' neighbor kids and he showed them how to play baseball and they played basketball and he showed he can anything the big kids can do. He got to be with his grandparents and see their family traditions.

We will cherish this trip forever because shortly after tragedy struck and we lost Heather's dad Ron forever. I will always be indebted for the kindness Ron showed me and my family. He also showed her an undivided devotion that established Heather's expectations of what it means to be loved. These expectations she (and I) are passing on to Hunter, so his legacy will be strong.

And as the year has passed Hunter has gone from being a shy toddler to a very confident little boy who asks if his friends can come over. He and JoJo are inseparable at school, even sometimes getting in "trouble" because they want to play together. He says who he is going to invite to his birthday and he wants a number of his friends from school to come over to his house. Every parent wants their kid to have friends and be liked so it is wonderful see him developing a voice.

Therefor it is so much fun to hear him tell me when he grows up he is going to do all the sports I do and coach at my same school. I am so glad he gets to see me coach and be part of a varsity sports program because I know he sees me working hard and I can see how he is taking all of this in. I know these memories and lessons will be with him forever so he can have his own friends and pass on the legacy he is learning from both sides of family to take the best of us and become an incredible success. It all starts by being able to say what he wants and who wants to be with. And I know he will make great choices, have real friends and continue to make us so proud.

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