Last month, you turned 11. Eleven. E-lev-en.
How, sweet child of mine, is that possible? Weren’t you just born? Tiny? Toddling? Learning to talk? Starting pre-school? Kindergarten? Playing t-ball? Sitting in a 5-pt harness? Sleeping in a toddler bed? Wearing adorable white onesies?
Physically, you’re not a big kid compared to many. But because you’re mine- my first child, my first baby– some days, you seem gigantic. Your toes have dark hairs on them. Your feet seem too big for your body. You want to style your hair and look good. You want to read books and see movies that boggle my mind because I’m convinced they are too mature for you…but they aren’t. My brain just hasn’t caught up to your age.
10 started out rough as you began to spread your wings and test your limits, but it ended on such a high note. Over 5th grade you’ve evolved into a kid who I love spending time with- good natured, funny, sweet and smart.
At the start of May, you and I traveled to NJ for a baseball tournament. We never get to do 1:1 things like that and it was the best. I got to watch you not only do your favorite thing- play baseball- but also see your whole world open up as you made new friends, played in the biggest sports complex you’ve ever seen and see how far baseball can take you. I came home glowing because you were so.damn.happy.
I started this post last month. You know- around your actual birthday, not almost 2 months late. But life- life just took off at warp speed and dragged all of us along with it. And that’s not a bad thing- it’s NEVER a bad thing when you’re so busy living your life, you forget to document it.
Since I started this post, 5th grade ended. On the very last day of school, your whole building has an awards ceremony and 3 kids from each class are recognized. One for academic achievement, one for Catholic identity and one for their character. This year, you won the award for Character. Your teacher gave a speech that makes me tear up every time I hear it because she captured all the reasons I’m so very, very proud to be your mom.
We talk a lot about baseball in relation to you. It’s hard not to when you are rarely not talking about or playing the sport. It dominates our lives 9 months out of the year and we’re all better people for it. But you, my sweet, smart, amazing child, are so much more than a sport and I want you to know it.
….a friend to everyone you meet. You have never met a stranger and you’re always quick with a smile, a nod and a friendly word.
…kind. Your heart is huge and you’d pretty much do anything for anyone. Kind is such a small word- it doesn’t sound like much. But it is the one thing I wish for you and your sister to always be. When in doubt, be kind. Always.
…smart. You love to read (sometimes), enjoy math (most of the time) and really dig science. I hope you always want to learn and discover and expand that amazing brain of yours.
…funny. You always love a good joke and funny story. There is nothing that makes me happier than watching you laugh so hard that it looks like your dimple is going to drill right down to your teeth.
…self confident. You can laugh at yourself- and your frequently do. But you seem pretty darn comfortable in your own skin and that’s amazing. I hope you cling to that innate sense that you are, and always will be, good enough for what ever life throws your way.
And now, you are 11. You’re starting 6th grade and full of so much life and laughter that, at times, it brims over. You’re also occasionally moody, more than a little dramatic and sometimes a giant pain in my butt. But you’re one of my favorite people on this earth and I thank God every single day that you are ours.
So here’s to an amazing year- may 11 be your most magical one yet.
All my love,