Ten years ago I had been married for ten years, and was completing my third decade of life. We welcomed you, sweet child, into our world, not knowing how our lives would change. Your innocence, combined with fierce love, overcame any lingering fears we had. You were ours.
You have always been a child full of love and sunshine. You love with your whole self, without reservation or embarrassment. You tend toward equilibrium, even during the most challenging developmental stages. You are conscientious, you are responsible, you are incredibly good. Your grandma said that you were just like me in this regard; one of my first sentences was I want to be a good girl.
I have to stretch myself to remember our most trying year together. Three. I remember telling your grandma that the terrible twos had been misnamed and that someone should have told me how difficult three would be. She laughed and said that she knew, but knowing that I had to go through it there was no point trying to warn me. Really, I think the most challenging thing was how desperately you wanted to communicate with all of us, and how hard that was for you, how frustrating it was to repeat yourself over and over again and still not be understood.
Five was so glorious that I couldn't imagine it getting any better. I was so glad not to send you away from me for hours everyday.
Six was another magical year, as we brought holistic homeschooling more fully into our lives. You loved every minute of grade 1: circle time, drawing in the Waldorf style, fairy tales, wet-on-wet watercolor painting, fingerplays. You grew taller, and your body grew stronger; hiking into the Grand Canyon, riding 8 miles on your bicycle, learning to balance on a scooter.
Your seven wasn't really all that melancholy. Your eight wasn't so expansive that I had to duck for cover. Your nine hasn't even been all that inward. Your move through the years with ease. I think it stems in part from your love of life and everything it has to offer. You excel at being in the moment.
I never imagined that with a son I would have a friend who wants to be with me, to talk with me, to do the things that I do. It isn't the same relationship I had with my own parents, but then I was the third of four children, raised in the stereotypically middle-class white suburban manner of the 70s. We haven't raised you the same way; we've sought attachment rather than attempting to foist independence on you before you are ready. Slowly now you are seeking small bits of independence, and we marvel at how well you move with it.
Today is your day to shine, and to bask in your family's love for you. You have completed your first decade. Happy Birthday my beloved boy!