Ten

Bejewell on April 26th, 2017

Dear Ten-Year Old Child:


TEN! Ten years! How did this happen? It seems like just last night I was sitting on our little gray IKEA couch, holding my little Bean in my arms, watching you sleep with your little newborn mouth wide open while Stargate SG-1 played on the TV in the dark living room. It was the only thing on at 3 am.

You were so new! Totally fresh and so, so sweet. You had that soft, fine baby hair, and that perfectly round head, and your little baby fingers and toes were so tiny…

Now I can wear your flip flops.

Have I ever told you how scared I was before you were born? From the minute I knew I was pregnant, there wasn’t a single thing about you that didn’t terrify me. I spent my entire pregnancy in this weird haze of fear. The bigger I got, the bigger the questions were that plagued me. Would you be healthy? Would you be strong? What would you be like as a human? What would I be like, as your mom? Would I screw this up? Would we all be okay?

So many unknown things! And things unknown are always the scariest things.

But you know what? The second you came out, I wasn’t scared anymore. Just one look at you, and it was entirely, remarkably clear to me that we were all going to be just fine. How could we not be? You were perfect.

And I was right.

The last ten years have been the most fulfilling, challenging, fun, thought-provoking, joyous of my life. I’ve never felt so happy or so strong or so CERTAIN that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Every single moment of your life has been a gift to me, and I am grateful for that gift every day.

You’re smart. You’re sweet. You’re social. You’re kind. You’re stubborn. You make amazing art. You hate being wrong. You dance, you sing, you have the best comic timing of anyone I’ve ever known (and that is saying something). You love the people around you unconditionally, and you’re never shy to let them know it.

You get over things faster than anyone I’ve ever known. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen you stay upset longer than 15 minutes or so. About anything.

You love to give compliments and ask questions and call me out when I’m wrong about something. You poke fun at your dad with awesome impressions and you love staying over at your Nee Nee’s house and every day we have at least three kids coming to the door, asking if you can play. You’re independent and easily distracted and cautious but also brave.

You can (and do) make friends anywhere.

And your natural state is, quite simply, happy.

You’ve given me so many beautiful memories over the past ten years, there are far too many to count. But my favorites aren’t the big things, they’re the little moments. Short, quick snippets of time that randomly reach out to me -

  • You making fun of me last week for crying when we were reading the end of Holes, until I made you read it out loud instead, and then you cried, too. And then we laughed because, stupid crying.
  • That time the lady in front of us at Starbucks paid for my order and told the barista to thank us for making her smile – it was only then that I realized she’d been watching from her rearview mirror as we’d danced and sung and laughed the entire time in line.
  • The way we celebrated after you successfully tied your own shoe for the first time, and how you Vanna Whited it for me later: “And here, Mommy, you will see a beautifully tied shoe.”
  • That time you asked me if you could say the word “bastard” out loud three times and I said okay, so you said it twice and then waited until hours later, when I was completely distracted, and yelled “BASSSSSSTAAAAARD!” from your room at the top of your lungs.
  • Having to sleep with you every Christmas Eve because you simply CANNOT be trusted not to get up at 2 am.
  • Spending a rainy day at the mall, trying on shoes and hats in random stores before doing our “off to see the wizard” walk through the corridors.
  • “I really love your new haircut, Mom. It makes you look pretty and so much younger!” “Wow, honey, that is so sweet! Thank you!” “Well, I really mean it. Now. How do we feel about me playing video games?”
  • Starting our own little flash mob in the middle of Sally Beauty Supply when Shake It Off started up on the overhead speaker.
  • Riding our bikes down to the park for a picnic, with me following as you pointed out all the bumps in the road to be sure I didn’t fall.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to find your three- or four- or five- or six-year old body wrapped around me. Again.
  • Staring up at the supermoon together, and talking about how small we are, and how easy that is to forget sometimes, and wondering what the man in the moon must be thinking when he looks down and sees how unkind we can be to each other, and imagining what life might be like somewhere else in the galaxy because definitely there’s other life out there, definitely.

Ten years. Ten years! Ten years, simply teeming with countless memories.

I get sad as I feel them all speed by, but then I realize that each tiny moment must pass to make room for the next, and the next, and the next. And I’m extraordinarily lucky to have any one of them. Just one of them is priceless, and here I am with so many I can’t even keep count!

My cup runneth over.

I know I’ve said this before – in fact, I’ve said it so many times now that you roll your eyes anytime I start to say it again – but I’ll say it anyway, now and again and again forever:

Having you was the best thing I ever did.

It was the best decision I ever made.

It was the smartest thing your dad and I ever could have done.

You are my very favorite person in this entire world, and being your mom has been both my greatest joy and my greatest honor.

I wish you the happiest of all birthdays, my smart, sweet, funny, wonderful, ten-year old son. And I thank you – from the bottom of my heart, truly – for making the past decade of my life so tremendously better and more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.

I love you more than the sun and the moon and the stars and the sky and the earth, and everything on it.

Now get out there and have yourself a fantastic, marvelous, adventurous, super awesome, double-digit kind of day.

Love,

Mom

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