My kid turns 10!
This January on the last day of the month my oldest boy turns 10. A decade old, imagine that! How fast this time has flown by for both of us. I reflect on his early years of life, his life lessons learned and many experiences that have shaped both he and I over the past 10 years. It is amazing!
As you turn 10 this year and are fighting for more and more independence I want to express to you a few observations as I have been your mom for 10 years now. From the moment I knew we (your father and I) were going to have you, I was overjoyed with thoughts what kind of personality you would have, what you would aspire to do, who your friends would be, and what impact you would have upon the world. Little did I know you have challenged me to be a better parent with each year you grow.
Within your first years you loved on our animals and built special relationships with them. Jake, Cali and Bailey were so kind to you, allowing you to love on them, sit on their backs and pull their tails. But let's be honest you also have thrown your share of fits and demonstrated shy tendencies as well. There are times that your father and I were not sure what the deeper story was that you were trying to share with your behavior and that posed some difficult times for us to support you the way you needed. Needless to say we have learned how to ask the rights questions to get the full meaning to be able to support you.
During preschool we found out you hated photos. HA and now you are more amenable to them as you have understanding around the meaning of pictures, sharing a moment in time, a memory if you will. We learned that you love having friends, hate the cold and hate being left out. You met your life long friend to this date your second year in preschool and have been able to share many moments with him despite not attending the same school and then your baby brother was born.
It is not easy being an older brother, having an annoying little, bug you, take your toys, want to be just like you, but you do look after him. It has been an adjustment for me as a parent to understand your need to fight for independence away from him, allow you to be your own person and support that, but also support your brother. What a balance, and someday with your own kids you will understand where I come from. But despite the constant seemingly nagging I have for you both to get along, when it comes right down to it you care for your brother deeply. When he is ill or sad you give him hugs and kisses, you give of yourself to him when he is feeling left out. I try to share to you that being a brother is amazing, having a sibling is amazing and when you are older my hope is that you will be good friends and continue to look out for each other.
As a parent it is not easy to see your kids feel left out or stressed out or be picked on. As you entered first, second and third grade these things became evident. You were challenged with some life lessons around friendships, "real vs fake" an early lesson to learn. And you didn't always understand why your father and I made some prayerfully made decisions regarding where you were being schooled for your current fourth grade year. BUT despite all of that you are flourishing. Your grades are up, you are working hard at school and care about it and you have found a sport that you love soccer. When it comes down to it I love watching you grow up, I love the changes that you are making, the confidence that you are building and support you in all endeavors you ask about. My goal as a parent is to help you find your niche in the world and to be the best you, you can be!
As you turn 10 my hopes and dreams for you are to continue to increase responsibility, be a genuine friend, be honest, work hard and continue to love life and be empathetic to others. Make your bed, know when you are being taken advantage of and learn how to deal with that in a positive way. Treat others with kindness, continue to communicate and love your family with all your heart. Happy birthday son! You make me proud!
Love you to the moon and back,