My second-born, my baby, you are ten today. How did that happen? You’ve always wanted to be older, and now you are. And I am so proud of you.
There are three years between you and your brother. Because parenting is hard, and it took that long to feel like I knew what I was doing, and like I was ready to do it all again. But surprise—you were your own person from the start, and a lot of what I thought I knew from raising your brother didn’t apply. So I was learning all over again.
And you’ve kept us on our toes: you learned to climb stairs and open doors before you could walk. Enter the baby gates and bolt locks we didn’t think we needed. You’ve been on the move ever since.
You do have some things in common with your big brother. You also thrive best when learning in your own time. When you do decide to do something, though, you are all in.
You are a voracious reader, and will read just about anything and everything I oh so casually leave on the coffee table. You can’t get enough of graphic novels, and have discerning taste in picture books, often telling me which ones deserve my library “staff picks” stickers.
You don’t much like school, never have, but you are scary smart, and love learning and trying new things. You are currently researching poisonous snakes, just because. You love to help in the kitchen, and will probably make your own birthday cake. And it will be amazing.
You have a confidence I envy, and I hope you never lose. You get over anger and upsets quickly, and never hold a grudge. You have always been a snuggler, and will still randomly hug me in public; I hope you always will. I love your uncontained joy for certain things, like going out for sushi, or your pet snake (your birthday present).
You can also be a bit obsessive with things you love. TV shows, video games, drums, breakfast—you go through periods of choosing that thing and only that thing. Your current obsession is playing outside with your neighbourhood friends. Bagels with cream cheese and lox. And trying to convince us to get a dog.
You are a trooper. We’ve “joked” you’ve seen just about every specialist there is at one point or another. And yet, you are far from a sickly kid—you are an active boy with a great attitude. You’ve gone through medical tests, eye patching, chronic illness, and surgery without complaint. In fact at the worst point in your recovery from having your tonsils and adenoids removed, you commented that you “felt sorry for younger kids having this done”. You were six.
Though you try to play it cool, you still adore your big brother. You are both growing up, and have your own friends and interests. You don’t play together as much these days, and can get on one another’s nerves (sometimes on purpose). But overall, the bond is still there, and I look forward to watching it grow as you do.
Happy birthday my sweet boy!