Monday, July 09, 2012

Happy Ninth Birthday, Mr. Boy

Dearest Mr. Boy,
On the eve of your 9th birthday, I sit to write you a note. What a year this has been, you have changed so much this year.  You are 9 going on 15, and seem so grown up.

School was rough for you this year, and I wish I could rewind the clock and do this school year over. I didn't make the best choices when it came to figuring out how to handle problems. Can I tell you a secret? As the oldest. child you get the short end of the stick sometimes. I'm still trying to figure this parenting gig out. In all honesty I have no idea what I'm doing. I've never done this before and as the first kid, you are my guinea pig. I'm sorry for the mistakes I've made and am yet to make.

This year you have had a hard time trying to figure out playground politics. You want to be friends and liked by everyone, but not everyone seems to like each other. It's been tough to navigate, but you have tried to be kind to everyone. Mr. Boy, I want you to remember this... Be nice. The nice guy doesn't always win, life is super unfair that way. But the nice guy always comes out with his head held high and a clean conscious. That is something you can't put a price tag on.

Right now you are so headstrong and you think you know better than me. Some days I get so frustrated because I feel like everything is a fight. I love you and I don't want to fight with you. However, the tenacity that you use to get your way gives me great hope for your future. When you put your mind to something, you will not stop until the outcome you desire is achieved. I hope that carries into your academics and your career.

 We lost our beloved dogs Sandy & Skoopi this year and you took it so very hard.  You would sit and watch cartoons on the floor with a dog on each side of you.  It kills me to see you still reach over to pet a dog that is not there.  Zoey has been a godsend and she totally bonded to you, but you still feel the void of having gone from two dogs to one.  It's not fair, Mr. Boy, you lost your Nana, and your dogs all in one year.  That is too much grief for an 8 year old. There are many nights when your grief bubbles to the surface and that is okay.  Yes, they were just dogs, but they were also your constant companions.  I miss them too. 
Mr. Boy, you are destined for great things. I just hope I can raise you right so you can realize your potential. When you were in Kindergarten at the little Jesus-lovin school that we loved so much, your teacher sat me down and told me, "Mademoiselle, this boy is a born leader.  I have no doubt that he will be an important person in history. However, he is going to lead people to greatness or lead people to evil, it's up to us to help him be good." Her words have stuck with me ever since.  I hope I can help you achieve greatness, and if you become President of the United States, you better invite me to the White House Easter Egg Hunt.

Your grades were terrible this year, it wasn't your best academic year.  We can blame the teacher or some of the challenges at home, but really you and I both know that you just didn't really give it your all.  You are wicked smart, and soak up knowledge like a sponge.  You are fascinated with Egypt, The Titanic, Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, World War II and any other war involving uniforms and blood.   Unfortunately none of those topics came up in your 3rd grade curriculum, so we learned about it on our own, which I loved every single minute of it.   Mr. Boy, you have to try your hardest in school, it's important and I hope you realize that now.

When you asked, "Why are grades so important, anyway?"  we told you all about getting good grades so that you can go to a good university.   You were completely blown away by the idea that you get to live with your best friends in an apartment while you go to school without mom and dad.  This sounds like nirvana to you and Mr. Boy... college is awesome! It's a privilege you are going to have to earn, and since we have become "crazy obsessed with the right answers on homework"  you are learning the important lesson, "It's always faster to do things right the first time." Yes, even your homework. 

Somewhere over the course of the year, xBox became huge in our house, particularly the game of Halo.  You are obsessed with it.  We all started playing as a family and joked that "The family that slays together, stays together."  Then your skills far surpassed mine and now I'm not invited to play with you and dad anymore.   I love that you have something to share with your dad, he is a super involved father, and you have no idea how lucky you are to have a dad like that in your life. 
You and AK are the best of friends and biggest enemies.   I try to keep reminding myself that I had a love/hate relationship with my brothers and now my oldest brother and I are the dearest of friends.  A few days ago we were on an outing and a little boy was being selfish with some toys that AK wanted to play with.  You were all tough and tried to stand up for your sister and then for two days you talked about that "Dumb stupid boy at the park."   It gave me hope that you will be there for your sister. 

As playground politics were becoming more tense this year, a couple of the parents got together and sat a few of the kids down.   We formed a secret gang and you guys are responsible for having each other's backs.  I can't imagine what Jr. High and High School are going to be like and what schools you will attend, but I hope you can have this alliance of good friends to help you navigate the world.  There is safety in numbers, remember that, and you can never have enough good friends. 

Mr. Boy, you are one lucky boy.   We live in the most amazing time, everyone walks around with phones that act as computers!  I can't imagine what the world will be like in 20 years.  You have such a zest for life and I love being with you.   I hope that we can have many adventures in the future and that I can take you to see the pyramids in Egypt and try and hunt down Nessie in Scotland.   I love you.


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