Letter to my son on his 10th birthday

All hail his grace, Adam of Houses Rhodes and Shahane, First of his name, King of the Minecraft and the Legos, Lord of the YouTube, Protector of the Remote Control, Watcher of the American Ninja Warrior, Long may he Reign!!

Can you tell that I’m going through a slight withdrawal for Game of Thrones as I write you this letter?! At 10, you’re a little too young to watch this brilliant show but maybe in a few years you’ll be ready for the books and they are genius!

So today you’re 10 – that’s crazy! You’re my baby and I can still point to rolls of fat around my middle that I attribute to you! Also the gray hair on my head and, really curiously, on dad’s eyebrows can be attributed to some of your deeds last year.

Like plugging up the guest toilet at home with wads of toilet paper….and 6 months later plugging up the hotel toilet with – wait for it – wads of toilet paper!

Like asking “are you sure this is a protective case?” 3 nanoseconds after getting a new iPad.

Like having your first jello shot “accidentally” at a New Year’s party.

Like needing to go potty 1 hour into a 2 hour wilderness hike.

Like losing your lunchbox in the second week at school….good times, good times!

But here you stand, in your wonky, lopsided grinned, crazy mind-of-its-own hair, nutty brown-skinned, knobbly kneed glory. And I wonder at how much this last year has changed you.

You are infinitesimally better at the whole food thing – still not particularly adventurous – your reaction to onions on your plate is about how I imagine Dracula would react to seeing garlic. You have self selected to play hockey this year and seem pretty excited to actually play – as opposed to basketball and t-ball and soccer where most of the excitement seemed to be in goofing off with your friends and less in the actual game! You showed some comedic talent as a pirate in the school play with a pretty impressive accent – kudos child!

Though there are some ways in which I feel that you are very much the same nutty child. You still consider yourself good at sports coz you can play FIFA soccer and NHL hockey on the Xbox until your eyes cross over! And you still have a stubborn streak a mile wide and just as deep that I have to ford every bloody time I need to get you to do something you don’t want to, like unload the dishwasher or lay the table or practice the piano!

So today we are going to talk about choices. Every school day since you started kindergarten I’ve admonished you to “make good choices”. And so far those have been kind of easy – to pick or not pick your nose, to pee now or to hold it, to eat your body weight in gummy worms or not, to brush your teeth at night or not, to shower for more than 10 seconds every other day or not – I say choices, but clearly these have not needed the wisdom of Solomon!

But now your choices will get a little tougher because the alternatives are so much more attractive – to play videogames or put some effort into piano and hockey, to challenge yourself in school and work on that abysmal writing or coast by on your wicked smarts, to stand up to a friend on behalf of another friend or ignore questionable behavior.

And when you have two bowls – one filled with cereal and the other filled with milk, which one should you pour into the other!!? We could clearly see the smoke coming out of your ears for this one ;-)!

Some choices Dad and I can help with, others you’re going to have to navigate on your own. And we trust you will make the right ones, and learn from the ones you don’t get right – because you won’t get all of them right – no one ever does! But you are smart and funny and have the kind of charm that comes from being dropped as a baby into a radioactive vat labeled “Natural Charm” – so trust your instincts.

Don’t look for the easiest way because most times the right choice is not the easiest one – I wish it was. As a guide, always ask yourself 5 simple questions:

– am I being kind,

-is this going to hurt someone,

-is this going to hurt me,

-will I be proud to tell my parents,

-what are the chances that Dad is going to call me an idiot?

And finally, because I know how you love it when I get all mushy, here is a song for you from me:

Musically last year was pretty good for you with Fall Out Boys and Imagine Dragons and Of Monsters and Men making the list of favorites. This year has been the year of Coldplay – not bad but maybe next year we can do better! As usual, to end this letter, here are some of the songs you’ve loved in this last year:

 

So happy 10th birthday my sweet boy and remember, I will love you now and forever.

Mom

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