My grandfather was born on November 5th. That tidbit was served up to me by my mother on November 3rd, 2001 as I blithely ate a popsicle and bounced around on a birthing ball. I was having occasional twinges in my belly and despite having seen a horrifyingly gritty birthing video in prenatal class, I was feeling like this having a baby business was going to be a breeze. 26ish hours later I had changed my mind.
Dawson was born at 1:30 in the morning on November 5th. The ordeal it took to get him here faded in time. Initially eclipsed by fatigue and fumbling first-time mother moves, it was quickly replaced by the joy he brought us. As we prepare to celebrate his tenth birthday this week, I am struck by so many things. Memories and hopes, promises and fears jumble together as I try to come to terms with how fast he is growing up.
Do you remember being 10? I do. It’s an awkward time between child and almost-teen. Where do you fit? How come you won’t treat me like I’m older and where’s my sleep toy banklet? No typo, that’s what they’re called in our house. When I was 10 I could never figure out why people were always giving me soap as gifts. I never wore shoes if I could get away with it. I had teeth like a picket fence a truck parked on. My crush, all four-feet permed head of him, stuck a mushroom down the back of my shirt and smushed it one day at recess. These are the things I recall as I sit here 30 years later. I wonder what Daws is going to remember.
I hope he remembers that we laugh often as a family. About goofy things. I hope he remembers the time he brought tears to a teacher’s eyes for taking a boy who was crying by the hand and telling him it was going to be okay. I hope he remembers he’s thought of as a good guy. A fair kid, if a bit competitive. I hope he remembers he’s not a ninja, and that cost him five stitches. I hope the friends he has going forward are true to him, and have his back. I hope he loves hard enough to worry about loss, and I hope when he gets his heart broken he remembers there is always something to look forward to.
Do you know a 10-year-old? Tell them something neat you noticed about them. Something you saw them do, or know about them that strikes you as unique or special. They’re evolving little creatures. Layering on some good stuff in the confusion and din of today’s influences can only help. I’m going to go look at a sleeping boy who owns my heart and that I love more than my iPad, PEI sunsets, and fudge, scrabble, even Twitter. He told me recently not to worry, that when he is bigger than me our hugs will still fit. He also told me to stop putting on his soccer uniform and prancing around saying I made the team. I think he likes me. I will never let him down.