10 years old

It was your auntie Ana who pointed it out to me. “You have your first double digit child.”

I hadn’t really thought about it. One whole decade I have been a mama.

By the end of the next you will be an adult. It’s really brief this childrearing thing, only so much time to figure it out before you’re gone, on your own, and living the rest of your life.

I still feel like I’m faking it, trying to get it all right so you have a good childhood. One day you will figure out that no one really knows what they are doing in life. We’re all just making it up as we go along and there is no magical age where you just suddenly become wise and have all your stuff together. You either choose to do it, or you don’t. Each day is what you make it. That’s really all you’ve got.

I like what you are doing with your life so far.

I love your generous heart and the way you take joy in being able to help someone.

When I asked what you wanted for your birthday you said, “I think I would like everyone to give money to help The Charis Project. There’s not a lot right now that I really need.”

Later on you added, “They could just get me a little something or a small present if they wanted and give the rest to The Charis Project. Just a little something, if they like.”

People tell me all the time how surprised they are by the way you talk. At your best you will give a polite, “I’m fine thank-you, doing well. How about you?”

Other times you argue semantics. Just like your daddy, you either answer the question they actually asked, rather than the question they meant to ask like most people do, or you point out that it’s a stupid question.

The other day, someone told me that they asked you what your favorite snack is. Your answer? “How could I know that? I haven’t tried everything yet. I can’t possibly know what my favorite is already.”

You are taking piano seriously this year, probably because you are finally at a level where the songs you play sound like real music. You are playing with a flourish, at every opportunity, showing off your newfound prowess. It makes me happy to listen to you.

That’s not to say that you aren’t a times a regular, loud, irritating, noise making, sounds effects piercing my eardrums and right into the place where I am trying to concentrate sort of boy. And you still process every single thought out loud. If I could listen all day long to the things you say I think you would actually talk all day long, stopping only to pee and drink more water.

Also you do accents. I love how completely without self consciousness you still are. If you decide you want to try a British accent when you are talking to someone you just do it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you embarrassed.

At your uncle Mason’s wedding this weekend you decided to break dance. I did’t even know you could break dance until there was a circle of cheering adults round you as you busted a move, several, you went all night. Apparently that’s what you do when you are on the trampoline at Beema’s house. I didn’t know.

I still have a hard time believing you are ten. In my head it’s like I’m 2 years behind and you are still the 8 year old I’ve finally gotten used to. Have I mentioned yet that I’m not so good at dealing with transitions? it will probably drive you crazy as a teenager that I’m like that. My apologies in advance.

Ten years ago when you were born your uncle Wayland, then 14 years old, gave me a sealed envelope with the words, “For the Boy’s eyes only. Do not open until you are 10 years old.”

It seemed like such a far off thing, you being 10. The years stretched out ahead of us and you were a tiny baby in my arms with the biggest blue eyes and long lashes, golden curls, and little old ladies would stop me to say how beautiful my baby girl was. I couldn’t begin to imagine you as a 10 year old.

Lat night your 24 year old uncle Wayland, now a marine corp officer and Berkeley graduate hugged you goodbye because he won’t be seeing you for a quite a while now. I don’t know exactly what he’s doing but I know I heard the word Afghanistan as part of where he’s going this year.  This morning you remembered and opened his letter to you, written so long ago, and yet, just yesterday. By the time Bam Bam is your age that could be you, tall and straight in a uniform, off to places without me, even dangerous ones.

But right now your dreams are still boyish, and I love them.

You might build boats and have a shop with a wooden sign that hangs outside and call it “Boat Shop” with your name on the sign above. You will sell kayaks that you made yourself, the greenland kayak, because that’s a good versatile one for all sorts of weather.

You are going to build a small house at Beema’s place that’s got room for all the kids to play in.

You have grand plans and ambitions, though you haven’t really yet learned how to turn that plan into action. Something I suppose I’ll have to teach you when I have a minute.

We went to the zoo for your birthday.

I love that you give me a kiss on the forehead every night when I hug you. I like to think that when I am old and bent and grey and you are tall and straight and young still, though less so, that you will still kiss my head like that, and I will still kiss your cheeks. I think I can start to see the kind of man you are becoming as we enter the decade where boyhood starts to slip away from you, little bit at a time, a little more each day. I think you will be a man I am proud to know.

I know I am proud of you now.

I love you my son. Forever.

Your Mama

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One thought on “10 years old

  1. what a beautiful letter… thank you for the glimpse you gave of your heart and your boy, he certainly sounds like one to be proud of! jessica 

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