Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mr. Boy, On your tenth birthday

Dear Mr. Boy, 
On the occasion of your tenth birthday, I sit to write you a note.  I cannot believe you are ten, it seemed like yesterday you were toddler wearing overalls dragging your blanket around.   Where does the time go?  This is something people would say as I was growing up and I would just nod and say, "Yes, time sure does fly by."  I never believed it, but now... I get it.  It is a strange phenomenon of seeing you grow up in a blink of an eye.
This year was has been a great year for you.   You had a school teacher who loved you and motivated you.  She was the answer to many prayers and it is amazing how much a teacher can impact your life.   I sent you off to school each day envious of your teacher, who got to spend so much time with you.   I missed you and the school year seemed to drag on.  It's not a secret, I love summers, and I love hanging out with you and your sister all day long.  We swim, we watch shows together about crab fishing, and read books.   There isn't the strict school schedule and we can see where the day takes us.  I feel like a nag all school year.   "Get your soccer gear on, it's time for practice."  "Finish your homework." "Put away your Laundry"  "Do your chores."  I know you think I love "barking orders", but really I am not a fan.
You have this personality, that naturally makes people of all ages want to be with you.   You always have had a magnetic personality, but this year, I notice you becoming more self conscientious in new situations.   You embarrass easier and you hang back instead of jumping right in.  It kills me to see this change, but I know it happens as your approach the teenage years.  I want you to remember that you are amazing, and that having confidence will take you very far in life.    A firm handshake and eye contact are an important life skill and never ever be afraid to jump right in.   Sure, some people may think you are a fool, but those are not the people you want to be friends with anyway.  I can not tell you enough, that confidence is a key to success.

I am so torn with how to handle your persistence.  You do not take "No" easily as an answer, and I want to teach you to be persistent, but also to know when to accept the answer that is given.   We butt heads a lot and you tell me all the time that I "yell", but it is not so much of a yell other than my firm voice, to let you know it's not negotiable.   Your persistence and drive will have payoffs in your career, but I don't know how to balance the household without squashing your persistent nature.   There is no instruction book in parenting and that is probably the most challenging thing about having a family.   Each kid is unique and there isn't a manual that tells you how to do things.   I am sometimes just guessing at what the right thing is to do.  You are my first born and I'm bound to make mistakes, I just pray that they aren't mistakes that break your spirit. 
You and your sister got along so well this year and then the week before summer, Boom!  You became mortal enemies.  I have been reminded that my brothers and I fought all the time, and now we are the dearest of friends.  Even though my brothers were my enemies growing up, they were also my fiercest protectors.  They always had my back, and when I needed them, they were there for me. Even now, they are there for me.  When you read these letters 100 years from now, I want you to remember to be your sister's best friend.  She is going to need you, and you will need her.  There is something about having a friend who has known you most of your life who can give the advice you need to hear.  You won't always like their advice but they know you best of all.
I am reminded that all the bickering you are doing with AK will make her stronger.  I have always felt confident that I could hold my own, because "I'm not scared of anything, I grew up with older brothers."  One time, there was a man following me out to my car late at night, I don't think he had the best of intentions.  I turned around and yelled at him, "You are messing with the wrong chick, I grew up with only brothers, and I'll kick you so hard, you'll squeal like a pig."  The man turned down an alley, and walked away really fast.

This past year you have been angry at your Grandfather for moving across the country with his new wife.  It has been hard and I know you have felt cheated.   Nana and Grandpa came to visit almost every week of your life, and after Nana died, Grandpa came even more often than that.  It has been hard for you to know how to process your feelings and you refused to talk to him for most of the year.   It has been your first time really learning how to forgive and move forward.  It's been a tough lesson to learn, but trust me, it's better to learn to forgive and move forward than to hold a grudge and constantly be stuck.
You still love Legos and books, and I would be content to stop the clock right here and freeze this age forever.   You often will sit and chat with me while you fiddle with Legos and I cherish this time.   You are reading many of the books that I read at your age and I love chatting with you about them.  You love to learn about new things and right now you are obsessed with the Revolutionary War and Greek Mythology.   I hope you never stop wanting to learn about history and you never stop reading.  This has been our Harry Potter year, and we finished reading the entire series and watched the movies together.  It was fun to discuss the book vs. movie differences and you felt cheated that the movies left some parts out.   You just watched the Lord of the Rings movies, and said, "I'm going to read the book now to see all the parts I missed."  If only we could direct this passion into school.   You are so smart and you don't even have to try and you get good grades.   We are trying to teach you to put in the little bit of extra effort so you can get excellent grades. Don't just coast through life, my son.  Put forth the effort to really get the  most out of life, it's worth it, I promise.
 As I crawl into bed each night, I thank God for giving me you and your sister.  Then I turn to your dad and tell him, "We are so lucky, Mr. Man."   You are my son, stubborn like me, with a zest for life that is contagious.   You and I laugh all the time and we have fun together, and I hope that you have that same relationship with your own children.   I love you to the moon and back and then an infinity more.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

there is something about a boy child that makes a momma's heart grow. you are lucky. enjoy his boy-ness and his growing pains! :)