I’ve been trying to write this post for weeks now. What to say to you, my first-born, as you turn ten? That I can’t believe it? That time goes so fast? That it seems like yesterday you were born? These clichés are all true.
Ten years. I won’t say I don’t remember my life without you; I do. But it seems like a different era, and I know I’m not the same person I was before you. You made me a mother. There’s a lot I could say (and have. See: this blog) about being a mother—about those early days and weeks and years where I tried to figure it all out. After all, this is my birth-day too.
But I’d rather focus on the person you are today. At ten, you are so many things. Wise, kind, thoughtful. I wouldn’t change you for the world, and yet, I sometimes worry how this world will change you. You’ve received more than one “Integrity” certificate from school, and though I’ve never set much store by those awards, I admit: your teachers called it.
You are so much like me, and not just because of your red hair and green eyes. You don’t really care for change, or surprises, or being teased “good-naturedly”. And yet unlike me, you aren’t afraid to try new things. You want to do it all—and have already done so much: snowboarding, skiing, swimming, water skiing, tubing, skating, archery, mountain biking, skateboarding, squash, cartooning…And you aren’t afraid to say no, to be your own person. So your friends don’t care for your long hair, or the coloured streaks you’ve sometimes worn? You like them. Kids aren’t playing fairly at the park? You’d rather not play with them. I can’t help but hope this positions you well for the years ahead, when you’ll be faced with following the crowd or staying true to yourself.
You are an amazing big brother, and have been since day one. Even when your brother was first born, after you’d gotten us to yourself for three whole years, I never saw any jealousy. Nothing but you wanting to help him–even when he doesn’t make it easy. I know there will continue to be times you don’t get along, or even like each other much. But I hope the brotherly bond between you will never break.
You are an avid and voracious reader. Since we don’t track those things, I have no idea how many books you read this summer. You usually have two or three on the go. I love that we can share our love for the written word, and even recommend books to one another. You have always had a thirst for knowledge—starting back when the dinosaur encyclopedia was a favourite bedtime story. You wonder and question constantly. I hope you always will.
You are still a child—and I mean that in the very best way. You play, and I hope you will for a long time to come. And yet, you are logical and responsible and reliable in a way that makes it hard to forget you are only ten. You’ll often state that you can’t wait to be older, but I don’t wish this time away. I already know how fast the next ten years will fly by.
Happy Birthday, my beautiful boy.