tomorrow is your eleventh birthday. eleven! how did that happen? it seemed not so long ago that you were a tiny boy, with your toenails painted blue, & wonder in your huge, brown eyes.
you wore costumes; or bits of costumes; everywhere we went. you loved to sing & dance, never concerned that anyone could hear or see you. rarely could you be found without a stuffed animal in one hand, & rocks in both pockets. & oh my boy, you were the most silly child that ever there was.
today you are still quite silly, still wear costumes, still sing & dance; though only your daddy-o & i get to see that part of you. only we are gifted with seeing you smile so deeply that your dimples show.
to the rest of the world you appear more reserved, more introverted, more moody. many think that is who you are; they don't realize it is merely how you hide your yourself, & how you protect your heart.
your daddy-o & i are sad that you feel the need to hide & protect, but we understand. losing your first two best friends tore your heart to pieces. you stopped hugging & trusting other kids, & stopped believing that friends would love you forever.
as much as daddy-o & i wish we could go back & take away the things that altered you, we would not. they created who you are today, & that is someone we are very proud to call our son. you are intelligent, compassionate, warm, curious, & you feel things more deeply than most.
you are also so very interesting. you love (& understand!) physics, yet believe fully in santa, faeries, & dragons. you want to save the world like jane goodall, sing like elvis presley, cook like rick bayless, & dress like a dandy.
you are truly unique.
this morning you snuggled on my lap, & cried. you said you were sad to stop being ten, because you have had such a good year. i let you cry, & quietly talked with you about all the wonderful things about being 10.
you don't seem to remember that you go through this every year. with every birthday you are sad that you will no longer be the age you'd been - as though in leaving behind a number you had to leave behind who you were as well.
though you wouldn't believe us if we told you, daddy-o & i know that tomorrow you will have forgotten your sadness. you will wake (much earlier than we'll like) & bounce around the bed, proclaiming you are eleven! eleven! eleven!
tomorrow it is going to rain, some say heavily. it's fitting - you were born in the middle of el nino, storms raging constantly, for weeks on end. while tomorrow's rain has ruined our plans for the day, it won't ruin our day.
we three shall celebrate you, & celebrate your birth. we shall celebrate the day two people became a family.
enjoy the rest of ten sweet boy, for tomorrow is a new adventure.
all of our love, mama & daddy-o