Today is Matthew's 13th birthday!
He was born at Ft. Stewart, Georgia where his dad was stationed with the Army.
and had one older brother and one older sister.
Now he's an important part of this large family.
And an even more important part of this smaller, large family. They live in Burke, Virginia.
Last night I conducted a telephone interview with him. Here's how it went: Hi Matthew! Happy Birthday a little early. Thank you!
I know you're active in Boy Scouts. What's the most important thing you've learned as a scout? Probably leadership. It's really helpful in school and stuff because for projects when nobody wants to take the lead, I feel pretty comfortable stepping up.
What's the funnest thing you've done in Boy Scouts. Probably shooting shotguns and rifles.
What's your favorite holiday? Definitely Christmas. Why? Because it's like such a big holiday and you get a lot of gifts and it actually shifts the way you behave and stuff. You listen to Christmas music and it's just a happy time.
And what was your best Christmas present ever. I got an Xbox One which is like the next generation console. It was so awesome!
You've always been quite athletic.
Why do you like being a kid? I like that I don't have to work as hard as adults and since i'm only in 7th grade, I don't have that much homework either so I get more time to play outside and play video games.
What's your favorite animal? I'd say a dog since we have a family dog and ours likes to snuggle and play in the backyard and in the snow. (Evidently he also likes story time.)
What is your favorite thing to do? I like to just hang out with friends. We usually do a ton of different things.
What do you love most about your siblings? Probably the fact that we don't really argue anymore. When we were younger we argued about random small things but now that we're older we don't bother each other so much.
What do you think you will be doing 10 years from now? I'm pretty interested in programming right now because it's kind of fun. What we're doing now is very basic but I'd like to get to the point where I can make websites and things like that.
What was the highlight of the past year. Probably becoming a star scout in Boy Scouts. What is that? It's the third to last rank. Ranks are Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and then Eagle. Are you young for that rank? Yeah, pretty young. I got it right after I turned 12. In like four months hopefully I'll be Life. The only thing I'm waiting on is the time requirement.
What are you looking forward to in the year ahead? Getting life scout. I'm also excited for football this year because last season I was playing with kids older than me and they all moved up so we'll have a new team where I'll probably be a more important member - maybe like in a cooler position. I play defensive end but I'd like to be a linebacker or a receiver. I'd also like to be a kicker. I've been working on that a lot and I think I'm getting pretty good.
Do you have any special plans for tomorrow? Not exactly. We usually go to a birthday dinner so I'll probably choose a restaurant which should be fun. What restaurant do you think you'll choose? Probably a Japanese Steak House.
You're having a party later? Hopefully. It's not confirmed yet but I'm hoping to split a party with my best friend, Sebastian. Our birthdays are on the same day and we have the same friends. So we want to invite them to a Flight Trampoline Park where they have trampolines covering the entire floor. While jumping you can touch things hanging from the ceiling and they have basketball hoops and dodge ball also - all on trampolines.
What can you tell us about yourself that we haven't covered in this interview. Ummm, nothing really. There's not that much interesting about me. I'm kind of a boring guy.
Obviously he's very modest because when I asked him to describe himself, he reluctantly shared that he's in AA (Advanced Academic) classes which are like honors classes only more in depth and that he gets straight A's.
He also said he likes volleyball, basketball and football and that when it's warm out, he's outside a ton.
But as usual, there's lots I could add about Matthew. Starting with the fact that he's sweet, thoughtful, and just plain nice. And he makes sure that Scout is included in the family pictures.
He is and always has been a loving big brother.
And a good friend to his big sister and brother.
He's a hard worker,
Great with animals,
And a likable, courteous, talented, and caring person. We're incredibly proud of him and wishing him an awesome birthday and a year filled with everything a 13-year-old could wish for.